Two-minute impact

Work involved in the expansion and improvement of Loop 1604, the state’s years-long effort to upgrade an increasingly busy corridor across north San Antonio, is more than halfway complete, Texas Department of Transportation representatives said in late March.

Jennifer Serold, public information officer with TxDOT’s San Antonio District, recently said Segment 1 of the project, from SH 16/Bandera Road to I-10, is estimated for completion by early 2025.

Segment 2, a revamp of the Loop 1604/I-10 interchange, is more than 40% finished and set for completion in 2027. Work on Segment 3, from I-10 to U.S. 281, is also scheduled to wrap up by the end of 2025.

Serold said the $1 billion project began in May 2021 and will widen the freeway to 10 lanes, including one high-occupancy vehicle lane each way, a new intersection at Blanco Road, and accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians along reconfigured frontage roads.

A closer look

Serold said TxDOT officials will keep working with communities affected by by-products of the project, which she said is necessary to accommodate a growing Bexar County population that is estimated to hit 3 million by 2050.

“The Loop 1604 north expansion is a transformative project that aims to reduce congestion and increase connectivity along 23-miles of the corridor across north Bexar County,” Serold said.

Also of note

Local leaders said many area residents, business owners and motorists have complained about traffic tie-ups, dust, sounds of construction due to the project.

Wade Bailey, retail operations manager for Pickleball Giant, said the project has had little impact on his pickleball supply store on Loop 1604 near Bitters Road.

“There’s been some traffic jams, especially when there’s a full [freeway] closure, but it hasn’t affected our business too much,” Bailey said. “Customers still come and seek us out.”

Resident Carisa Lopez Heiss said traffic congestion takes a toll when she drives to drop off and pick up her son at high school.

“It’s a mess and a headache, although as a nearly lifelong resident, I have gotten somewhat used to construction somewhere on my route,” she said. “It’s a reminder how much our city has grown over the years.”

What’s next

Serold said work on Segment 4—U.S. 281 to Redland Road—began in late April, with work on the final segment—Redland to I-35—taking place after 2025 upon being fully funded.

“Once complete, the project is estimated to reduce commute times by as much as 76% by 2045,” Serold said.