1604 expansion project

1604 expansion project DEFAULT

Loop from SH 16 to I

TxDOT is moving forward with plans to improve approximately miles of Loop from SH (Bandera Rd.) to I in north Bexar County. The Loop Expansion Project involves several transportation improvements that are designed to improve mobility, reduce congestion and enhance safety along the high-traveled corridor.

The project includes the following improvements:

  • Expanding Loop from a four-lane expressway to ten-lane expressway with the addition of two general purpose lanes in each direction.
  • Adding one high-occupancy vehicle lane in each direction.
  • Reconfiguring the layout of auxiliary lanes and entrance and exit ramps.
  • Removing the cloverleaf connectors.Replacing the cloverleaf interchange at IH 10/LP with a five-level direct connect interchange
  • Adding direct connectors.
  • Replacing the signalized frontage road intersections with a continuous flow configuration.Upgrading Blanco Road and LP to an innovative intersection
  •  Accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians, water quality protection, and other highway features.
  • All improvements are located within the existing right of way and easements.

Project Segments (download map)

  • Segment 1: Loop from SH 16 (Bandera Rd.) to I (download map)
    • Letting Date: April
    • Anticipated Start:  May
    • Anticipated Completion:
    • Estimated Cost: $ million
  • Segment 2:Loop and I Interchange (download map)
    • Anticipated Letting Date: Fall
    • Anticipated Start:
    • Anticipated Completion:
    • Estimated Cost: $ million
  • Segment 3:Loop from I to US  (download map)
    • Anticipated Letting Date: June
    • Anticipated Start: Late Summer
    • Anticipated Completion:
    • Estimated Cost: $ million
  • Segment 4:Loop from US to Redland(unfunded) (download map)
    • Anticipated Letting Date:
    • Anticipated Start: TBD
    • Anticipated Completion: TBD
    • Estimated Cost: $ million
  • Segment 5: Loop from Redland to I(unfunded) (download map)
    • Anticipated Letting Date: TBD
    • Anticipated Start: TBD
    • Anticipated Completion: TBD
    • Estimated Cost: $ million

Benefits

Once complete, the planned project improvements will reduce congestion, improve mobility and enhance safety by:

  • Decreasing future travel times by as much as 80 minutes
  • Increasing capacity with non-toll general purpose and HOV lanes
  • Integrating multimodal improvements with the construction of continuous sidewalks and bicycle accommodations
  • Creating a fully directional, five-level interchange at I and Loop

Project Updates

TxDOT is committed to providing timely project updates as they are available. If you are interested in receiving updates, please subscribe.

Construction Impacts to Traffic

Throughout construction of these improvements, drivers will experience temporary traffic shifts and overnight lane closures on the mainlanes and frontage roads, as well as temporary daytime and overnight ramp closures.

Daytime work is anticipated to take place Mondays through Saturdays, while nighttime work and any necessary lane closures are anticipated to take place between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday evenings through Friday mornings.

Traffic Updates

Permanent and temporary digital message boards placed along the route will alert drivers in real-time to lane closures, traffic congestion and construction activity.

For the latest on construction closures and traffic shifts, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit the San Antonio District’s Go Ahead! Blog.

Public Involvement

The purpose of the open house is to share project information and updates, present proposed schematics of the proposed project and collect input from the community. TxDOT is committed to working closely with the community on this project. All input will be considered as TxDOT moves forward in developing a plan that will enhance the safety of this corridor while preparing for future growth.

Downloads

Contact

TxDOT Public Information Officer
NW Loop
San Antonio, TX
()
Email

Sours: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/san-antonio/html

Loop is expanding to 10 lanes. Here's what you should know.

When will the construction start?

The first phase of construction, between Bandera Road to Interstate 10, will start sometime between July and October, according to TxDOT.

The section between I to U.S. will go out for bids in June. Bids for the I and the Loop interchange will go out in November.

The final section between U.S. and I is currently unfunded, said Laura Lopez, a spokeswoman with TxDOT.

How long will it last?

Construction is expected to last until

What will be done?

Loop will have 10 lanes after TxDOT adds two new lanes and a HOV lane in both directions and will also have accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The cloverleaf-style Loop /I interchange will have new "modernized" direct or fly-over connectors, the Express-News reported in

None of the new lanes will include toll roads.

Why are the new lanes being constructed?

The expansion project aims to accommodate current and future traffic volumes by helping to reduce traffic congestion.

According to TxDOT, travel times between the North and Northwest sides of Loop is 35 to 37 minutes during rush hour. Without expansion, TxDOT says travel times could increase to to minutes by TxDOT expects travel times to drop to 26 or 27 minutes once the construction is complete.

How much will this cost?

The preliminary construction estimate is $ billion. The portion between Bandera Road and U.S. and the I interchange have both been funded at $ million.

[email protected]

Sours: https://www.expressnews.com/news/article/Theyear-Loopexpansion-project-may-startphp
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San Antonio Area Freeway System
Loop North Expansion Project

This page last updated September 26,


The plans for this project have changed
The schematics below are those released in September However, the construction bid plans for Phase 1 show some significant changes; those are discussed in the schematics section below. As always, details for any of the phases may change prior to construction or completion.

An expansion of Loop from Bandera Rd. to I&#;35 North has been in the works since the beginning of this century. Due to severe funding limitations for much of the past two decades, those expansion plans necessarily included tolled lanes. A series of issues over the years delayed the project. Recently, increases in state funding and the deprecation of tolling statewide have resulted in the toll component of this expansion being removed. Instead, plans now are to expand Loop by adding two non-tolled general-purpose lanes and one HOV lane in each direction. This project will also replace the obsolete cloverleaf interchange at I&#;

Below is complete information about the latest status of this project.



On this page


Project description

This massive $ billion project will expand Loop from Bandera Rd. to I&#;35 to four general-purpose non-tolled freeway lanes in each direction plus an HOV lane in each direction. Note that some sections may have three, five, or six general-purpose lanes depending on the traffic volume, geometry, or available right-of-way at that particular location, but typically the corridor will have four general-purpose through lanes each way.

Planned typical cross-section for Loop from Bandera to I&#;35


The project will also replace the overburdened and obsolete I&#;10/Loop cloverleaf with a fully-directional "stack" or "web" interchange. Earlier funding was only sufficient for the first two flyovers in the new interchange. However, the Texas Transportation Commission approved additional funding in August to complete the entire interchange in a single project. The proximity of the interchange flyover terminals to nearby exits will require a complete re-working of nearly all of the entrance and exit ramps in the vicinity. 

Rendering of planned I&#;10/Loop interchange
(Courtesy of TxDOT)

Plans also call for the lower-level signalized access road intersections at that interchange to be replaced with a unique intersection consisting of four partial roundabouts-- or one large stretched roundabout, depending on how you look at it-- that engineers have nicknamed "the fidget spinner." While there are other places with a series of roundabouts or partial roundabouts, this is believed to be the first intersection with this specific configuration. Two sets of elevated collector-distributor roads on I&#;10 and on Loop will allow access road traffic headed straight through the interchange to completely bypass the lower-level intersections. A rebuilt VIA Park & Ride will remain in the middle of the fidget-spinner.

Schematic of lower-level "fidget spinner" intersection
Blue line shows the path for a north-to-west left turn. Outer right-turn lanes and turnarounds, both of which bypass the partial roundabouts, are indicated. Not shown are the planned access road bypass flyovers, which will allow access road traffic going straight through to pass over the fidget spinner and bypass it entirely.


The Blanco Rd. Diverging Diamond Interchange project, which was previously planned to be a standalone project, has been rolled into this larger expansion project.

New interchange connectors at I&#;35 will be built as part of the I&#;35 Northeast Expansion (NEX) project. The improvements east of Nacogdoches Rd. built as part of this project are designed to integrate with those connectors.

Finally, this project will make numerous entrance and exit ramp revisions and access road improvements. One of the more notable ramp improvements will be to add a dedicated westbound exit ramp to Hausman Rd. and a dedicated eastbound entrance ramp from Hausman Rd. The locations of the touch-down points for the elevated connectors in the revamped I&#;10/Loop interchange will also necessitate several ramp changes on both Loop and on I&#;10 in the vicinity of the interchange in order to reduce conflicts and smooth-out traffic flow.

This project-- quite remarkably-- will be built almost entirely within the existing right-of-way. This is because planners in the past acquired enough right-of-way for this eventuality.

Funding and contracting constraints will require the project to be divided into multiple phases. The first three phases from Bandera Rd. to US are fully funded including funding through the Texas Clear Lanes project, an initiative of the Texas Transportation Commission to help advance projects to reduce congestion in the state's five major metro areas. The remainder of the expansion from US to I&#;35 is currently unfunded, but TxDOT and the MPO are working to obtain funding to complete the expansion.



Phase 1: Bandera Rd. to I&#;10

  • Status: Construction underway (15% complete)
  • Timeline: Construction started in May and is expected to be completed in mid
  • Construction cost: About $ million

This phase will include the following major components:

  • Eight non-tolled general-purpose freeway lanes (i.e. four in each direction) between Hauman and I plus auxiliary lanes; with the auxiliary lanes, much of this stretch will actually have five general-purpose lanes in each direction.
  • Two future high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes (i.e. one in each direction) between Hausman and I&#;10; the pavement for the HOV lanes will be laid, but they will not be marked and will be barricaded until the interchange at I is complete. This is because it is not feasible to provide a proper transition area for the ends of the HOV lanes near I&#;10 for the short period between when this project is completed and when the interchange will be completed.
  • A new westbound exit ramp to Hausman Rd. and a new eastbound entrance ramp from Hausman Rd.
  • Ramp reversals westbound between Hausman Rd. and Bandera Rd.; the new Bandera Rd. exit will be two lanes.
  • Ramp reversals in both directions between Babcock Rd. and Kyle Seale Pkwy; the new westbound exit to Kyle Seale Pkwy. and the new eastbound exit to Babcock will be two lanes.
  • The westbound exit to Babcock Rd. will be closed due to the proximity of the new flyovers from I&#; Traffic on westbound Loop to the east of I&#;10 wanting to reach Babcock will exit near I&#;10 and continue on the access road and a new access road bypass that passes over the La Cantera Blvd. and Chase Hill Blvd. intersections. Traffic on I&#;10 wanting to reach Babcock will have to exit onto the I&#;10 access road before reaching Loop and travel under the interchange, then proceed on the Loop access road as discussed above.
  • Stubs for the two future new interchange flyovers connecting to Loop west of I&#;10 will be built. Given the timing of the interchange project (Phase 3 below), they will probably only be stubs for a short period of time.
  • High-mast lighting along the entire stretch.

Phase 2: I&#;10 to US

  • Status: Construction starting later this year
  • Timeline: Construction expected to start in late and be completed in mid
  • Construction cost: About $ million

This phase will include the following major components:

  • Eight new non-tolled general-purpose freeway lanes (i.e. four in each direction) plus auxiliary lanes from I to US
  • Two new high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes (i.e. one in each direction) from I&#;10 to Blanco Rd.; the pavement for the HOV lanes will be laid, but they will not be marked and will be barricaded until the interchange at I is complete. This is because it is not feasible to provide a proper transition area for the ends of the HOV lanes near I&#;10 for the short period between when this project is completed and when the interchange will be completed.
  • The existing eastbound Lockhill-Selma Rd. exit will be removed and the eastbound access road entrance ramp near I&#;10 will be moved that location. Eastbound Loop traffic wanting to reach Lockhill-Selma will exit near I&#;10 at a new ramp for both it and Vance-Jackson. Traffic on I&#;10 wanting to reach Lockhill-Selma will have to exit on the I&#;10 access road and use the Loop access road to reach Lockhill-Selma. This is because the flyovers from I&#;10 will not enter Loop until just east of Lockhill-Selma.
  • The Tradesman Dr. overpass will be removed. This is because it would need to be extended and there was insufficient traffic to warrant the cost. A new westbound to eastbound turnaround will be built at Vance-Jackson to help facilitate traffic headed to Tradesman.
  • The westbound exit to Lockhill-Selma will be relocated to the same location as the current entrance ramp from NW Military Hwy. and the two ramps will be "braided". This relocation is necessary to smooth traffic flow and better accommodate the elevation differences on the approach to the new I&#;10 flyovers. 
  • The existing westbound entrance ramp from Rogers Ranch Pkwy./Bitters Rd. will be relocated further east to the current location of the NW Military Hwy. exit, and the exit will then be moved further east to just before Salado Creek. As with the previous bullet, this is to help smooth the traffic flow approaching the new I&#;10 exit. 
  • A Diverging Diamond Interchange will be built at Blanco Rd. This will include the construction of collector-distributor roads alongside Loop between Huebner Rd. and Stone Oak Pkwy. and associated ramp changes. See the Loop at Blanco Rd. project page for more details on this component of the project.
  • At the eastern end of this phase,the eastbound mainlanes will narrow from four general-purpose lanes to three shortly before reaching the Stone Oak Pkwy. overpass. A fourth mainlane (auxiliary lane) will then be added to the right side from the entrance ramp from Blanco Rd. at the Stone Oak Pkwy. overpass. The two right lanes will then become exit-only lanes to US
  • On the westbound side, two lanes will enter from US joining the existing two mainlanes coming through the interchange. The far right lane coming from US will merge to the left leaving three through lanes. An auxiliary lane will be briefly added to the right side from the entrance ramp prior to Stone Oak Pkwy. before dropping off at the exit to Blanco Rd./Huebner Rd. just past the Stone Oak Pkwy. overpass. A fourth mainlane will then be added to the left side just past the Blanco/Hueber exit.
  • Stubs for the two future new interchange flyovers connecting to Loop east of I&#;10 will be built. Given the timing of the interchange project (Phase 3 below), they will probably only be stubs for a short period of time.
  • Unlike the I to Bandera Rd. segment that will feature high-mast lighting, this section will have conventional double-sided mast-arm street lights on the center barrier.

Phase 3: Loop /I&#;10 interchange

  • Status: Advanced planning
  • Timeline: Construction expected to start in early and be completed in
  • Construction cost: About $ million

Based on the  schematics, this phase will include the following major components; note that some details may change when the final construction plans are released:

  • All eight new flyover direct-connectors between I&#;10 and Loop The existing cloverleaf interchange will be demolished.
  • Flyover access road bypasses on both I&#;10 and Loop These will allow through traffic on the access roads to bypass the lower level intersections.
  • Replacement of the lower level signalized access road intersections with a continuous flow intersection consisting of four partial roundabouts ("fidget spinner".)
  • New access road turnarounds for both directions of I&#;
  • Relocation of the westbound exit to La Cantera Blvd. including an intersection flyover bypass at La Cantera Blvd.
  • Reconstruction of the VIA Park & Ride. 
  • The eastbound exit to UTSA Blvd. will be removed due to its proximity to the new entrance from Loop Traffic on I&#;10 wanting to reach UTSA Blvd. will exit at a new exit in the Loop interchange and continue on the access road. Traffic on Loop wanting to reach UTSA Blvd. will have to exit onto the access road on Loop , then continue on the I&#;10 access road.
  • The westbound entrance ramp from UTSA Blvd. will be removed. Traffic wanting to enter I&#;10 or Loop will continue on the access roads to the next available entrance ramp. This is necessary to smooth traffic flow on the approach to the new Loop exit, which will be located closer to UTSA Blvd. than the current one.
  • The westbound entrance ramp from De Zavala Rd. will be slightly relocated and lengthened.
  • Six general-purpose freeway mainlanes (i.e. three in each direction) will be carried through the interchange on both I and Loop and I will have extra pavement in its median for a future extension of the HOV lane south from its current terminus near La Cantera Blvd.

Future phases

The remainder of the expansion from US to I&#;35 is currently unfunded and therefore has no timeline. However, TxDOT and the MPO are working to obtain funding to complete the expansion. 

Previously, it was reported that the segment from US to Redland Rd. would start construction in However, as engineers further fleshed-out the projects west of US , it was determined that the estimated costs for those would not leave sufficient funding from what is currently available for this project for the US to Redland segment. 


How this project will help

As anyone who regularly drives Loop knows, this corridor experiences frequently-recurring congestion due to traffic volumes regularly exceeding the capacity of the road. Adding additional lanes provides the obvious benefit of increasing capacity and thus reducing congestion. Modeling shows that when the project is complete around , the corridor should experience continuous free-flow conditions, including during morning and evening peak periods (barring incidents, of course.)

Projections for show that traffic volumes will nearly double. Even so, the modeling shows that by with the planned expansion, the corridor should still generally see travel times of % below than today's with the exception being the eastbound morning peak, which could again be at or near current travel times. However, that travel time modeling is for the entire corridor end-to-end; localized sections should still see improved travel times.

HOV lanes are now being added to major freeway expansion projects in San Antonio where feasible. The intent is to encourage carpooling and use of mass transit. Each person that opts to do so is one less vehicle on the freeway, which helps to reduce congestion and pollution for everyone. Furthermore, HOV lanes help to "future-proof" a corridor by building-in lanes today that can someday be used for new transportation options such as autonomous vehicles. For more information about local HOV lanes, see the HOV lanes page.

The current cloverleaf at I&#;10 is obsolete and unable to handle current traffic loads. Cloverleafs in general are now considered passé in heavy traffic areas as they simply cannot handle contemporary traffic volumes, and nearly all existing cloverleafs in San Antonio are being replaced. Additionally, the weaving maneuvers in a cloverleaf are a safety issue. The new "stack" or "web" interchange here should fully alleviate those issues.

The "fidget spinner" intersection below the I&#;10 interchange will remove the signalized intersections there and should provide a more continuous flow of traffic. A traffic study showed that much of the traffic using the current "box" intersection there was doing so to avoid congestion above, so when the new interchange is complete, the traffic volumes in the lower-level intersections should be appreciably reduced, and modeling shows the partial roundabouts should be able to handle the expected traffic there more efficiently than signals. The new intersections will also be better positioned to accommodate the driveways in the immediate vicinity.

Finally, the various ramp revisions along the route should provide better traffic flow between the mainlanes and access roads.


Schematics

Click on one of the letters on the image below to open the detailed schematic for that section of the project. The base schematics are from TxDOT with my own annotations added to help clarify and explain the various elements. Each schematic will open in a new window that you can scroll and zoom.

Changes to Phase 1
These are the schematics presented to the public in September However, the construction bid plans for the Bandera to I&#;10 segment show some significant changes from the schematics here. Most of the changes are at the southwestern end of the project and are shown in blue annotations on the "A" schematic, and a snippet from the bid plans that shows the changes is included. Here is a summary of the major differences:

  • The mainlane widening was originally proposed to begin/end just south of Bandera Rd. However, that has now been moved to just south of Hausman, i.e. the mainlanes will remain mostly as they are today south of Hausman.
  • The eastbound access road between Bandera and Hausman were planned to be widened, but that has been dropped for now, and the westbound access road will be expanded to three lanes instead of four.
  • The HOV lanes on this segment will not be opened as part this project. The pavement for the lanes will be laid, but the lanes will not be marked and will be barricaded until the later phases are complete. This is because it is not feasible to provide a proper transition area for the ends of the HOV lanes near I&#;10 for the short period between when this project is completed and when the interchange will be completed.
Notes for Phase 2
These are the schematics for the entire "master plan" between Bandera Rd. and I However, because the section from US to I is not yet funded, the widening done in Phase 2 will need to taper in order to transition to the existing four-lane section of east of US ; this tapering will happen in the vicinity of the Stone Oak Pkwy. overpass (details discussed in the "Phase 2" section above), so the lane configurations between Stone Oak Pkwy. and US shown in the schematic below will be built as part of the future US to I phase(s).

Also, as with Phase 1, the HOV lanes on this segment will not be opened as part this project. The pavement for the lanes will be laid, but the lanes will not be marked and will be barricaded until later phases are complete. This is because it is not feasible to provide a proper transition area for the ends of the HOV lanes near I&#;10 for the short period between when this project is completed and when the interchange will be completed.




Click on one of the letters on the image above to open the detailed schematic for that section


Video
I put together a video that discusses Phase 1 in-depth including a virtual flyover where I explain the new lane and ramp configurations:



FAQ
Also see the HOV FAQ on the HOV lanes page.

  • Will this project be tolled?
    No. Although earlier versions of this project proposed adding two managed toll lanes in each direction, funding was secured to remove the toll component. Instead, two non-tolled mainlanes in each direction plus an HOV lane will be added.

  • Why didn't they originally build Loop between Bandera and I&#;35 with more than four lanes?
    The current Loop between I&#;10 and I&#;35 was planned 35 years ago to upgrade the two-lane farm road there at that time to the four-lane freeway that's there today-- a dramatic increase in capacity. Loop between Bandera and I&#;10 was planned around and also was an upgrade from a two-lane farm road. When planning a road, engineers look at the projected traffic volumes about 20 years out, and in both cases, those projections showed that four lanes would be sufficient. Indeed, significant recurring traffic congestion didn't develop until the 15 to 20 year mark, which shows the validity of the planning done. An expansion has been in the works for about two decades now but has been delayed (see next point.) Twenty years is the accepted planning horizon because that's the length of time before a road will need major repairs and upgrades simply due to age (i.e. the road's expected lifespan), and because that's the length of time that any traffic projections can be considered even remotely reasonable. Nobody has a crystal ball, so traffic projections are "educated guesses" based on past growth and the best data available for future development in an area, and road capacity is always theoretical-- many other factors other than just the number of lanes affect congestion levels. But as a steward of taxpayer dollars, TxDOT cannot spend more than they can empirically justify, a policy I'm sure most taxpayers support to prevent "pork" projects. And spending on extra lanes that may or may not be needed in the future takes away funding for other needed projects.

  • Why haven't they added more lanes to Loop North before now? Don't they know how bad the traffic is?
    Plans have been in the works to expand Loop from Bandera to I&#;35 for two decades. However, such an expansion is a very expensive project-- approaching $1 billion. Due to substantial funding shortages that began in the early s, TxDOT was required to incorporate tolling to pay for mega projects like this. With local opposition to tolling and the melodrama over a similar plan on US that delayed that project for over a decade, the plan for has had to be reworked several times. Additionally, because of the project's location over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, an extensive and lengthy environmental study was undertaken. With new funding mechanisms now in place and tolling deprecated, the toll component was removed from the project, which required the project to be redesigned yet one more time.

Project history

In the mid to late '80s and early '90s, Loop was upgraded from a two-lane farm road to a four-lane freeway between I&#;10 West and I&#;35 North. Subsequent projects in the early and mid '90s extended the freeway to Kitty Hawk Rd. on the east and to Braun Rd. on the west. Since that time, a tremendous amount development has taken place along the corridor, and traffic counts all along have increased dramatically. In fact, 13 of the top 20 locations for traffic growth in Bexar County between and were along North, with the location just north of Bandera Rd. showing growth of almost %. Meanwhile, Loop has struggled to keep up with the explosion of traffic. Several upgrades to the western section south of Braun Rd. have been completed since However, plans to expand the northern arc from Bandera Rd. to I&#;35 North have been stalled for several reasons including insufficient funding and delays to required environmental studies. Below is a more in-depth history of the various machinations this project has gone through.

Loop earmarked for managed lanes
The first expansion plans for Loop North were developed around However, in the early s, construction costs experienced a sudden, staggering increase. This resulted in severe funding shortages for highways. Officials sought new methods for funding, with tolling becoming the main new tool. To that end, the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC), at the governor's behest, ordered in December that "controlled-access mobility projects in any phase of development or construction must be evaluated for tolling. This includes new location facilities and increased capacity projects such as adding additional main lanes or constructing new main lanes." This order compelled TxDOT to evaluate all planned Loop freeway projects for possible tolling. The evaluation showed that the anticipated traffic volumes along made it viable for tolling, so per the TTC's order, the projects were reclassified as toll projects, and plans were made to incorporate managed lanes into the designs for an expansion from Culebra Rd. to I&#;35 North. This, along with a project on US North, would constitute a local toll "starter system."


What is a managed lane?
A managed lane is a lane where the operational strategies of the lane are adjusted in real-time to ensure that the lane remains free-flowing, thus providing for a guaranteed travel time for users of the lane. For example, toll rates or vehicle occupancy requirements may fluctuate based on traffic conditions or time of day. Typically, managed lanes allow toll-free access for buses, carpools, and emergency vehicles while single-occupancy vehicles (i.e. solo drivers) can use the lane by paying a variable-rate toll.

How is this beneficial? Besides providing a clear way for public transportation and emergency vehicles and encouraging carpooling, it also gives solo commuters who want or need to get where they're going faster an opportunity to bypass congestion by paying a toll to use any excess capacity of the lane. Every motorist who opts to do so removes one more vehicle from the toll-free lanes which can help ease congestion. The resulting toll revenue helps to subsidize for the road, saving scarce tax dollars for other needed projects.
 


Cintra-Zachary proposal
In , a consortium consisting of local construction giant Zachary and the Spanish infrastructure company Cintra, which were working together on a bid to construct one of the now-defunct Trans Texas Corridor projects, submitted an unsolicited bid to TxDOT to build the Loop and US toll projects in return for a year lease to operate them. Because the bid had merit, TxDOT was required to fully evaluate it and then to accept any other bids for the projects. The Cintra-Zachary bid not only paid for construction and subsequent maintenance and operation of both roadways (which freed scarce state funding for other needed projects), it also paid a large franchise fee to the state that could also be used to fund other projects. Based on those merits, the Cintra-Zachary bid was accepted, and work started on the US project in late A subsequent lawsuit over the project resulted in TxDOT canceling the entire Cintra-Zachary contract, including the project.

ARMA takes over
In , in light of mounting pressure from activists against toll roads being built and operated by private and mostly foreign corporations, the Legislature passed a moratorium on nearly all new privately-built and/or operated toll roads. The legislation required that local Regional Mobility Authorities be given the right of first refusal on toll projects in their jurisdiction. The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA), which was established by Bexar County in , subsequently opted to take control of both the and  projects and put forth a $ billion plan to upgrade and expand the entire northern arc of Loop from Military Dr. on the west all the way over to I&#;10 on the east. The required environmental study for that project was started and, during the scoping process for that study, the eastern boundary for the project was set at I&#;35 North while the western boundary was extended south to US  

Southern US /Loop interchange connectors built
During the Great Recession, Congress approved a national economic "stimulus" plan in February that poured additional federal money into road construction projects. The Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved allocating most of San Antonio's share of the largesse for the first half of a / interchange. That project built all four of the ramps connecting to south of , i.e. northbound to both directions of , and both directions of to southbound The use of the federal funds allowed the ramps to be toll-free. The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) approved the state's share of the costs on March 5th, Construction began in early and was completed in early It was determined that ramps connecting to north of should not be built until lingering issues stemming from the lawsuits and associated environmental studies for north of were resolved. Those ramps were recently completed as part of the first phase of the US expansion project.

Eastern and western upgrades built
The TTC also approved using stimulus funds to expand Loop to a four lane divided highway from FM 78 to Graytown Rd. near Randolph AFB. That work was completed in September That same month, ARMA and TxDOT completed a package of short-term improvements -- including two "superstreet" intersections -- on Loop West between Braun and Culebra.

New funding for toll-free expansions
In January , TxDOT and ARMA announced funding had been secured to expand Loop 's western arc from Braun Rd. south to US 90 using a mix of various local funding sources from the Advanced Transportation District and ARMA. However, this corridor was already included in the ongoing federal environmental study for ARMA's larger project from US 90 to I&#; Since the funding for the western expansion was coming solely from state and local sources, it no longer was required to comply with federal environmental rules. Therefore, to avoid delaying those projects unnecessarily while the federal environmental study dragged on, the western segments were removed from that ongoing study and instead approved under a separate state environmental review. This had the adverse side effect of requiring the ongoing federal study to be re-scoped and re-started using the adjusted project limits, thus resulting in a substantial delay to that study and project.

Tolls still needed
During its session in early , the Texas Legislature approved new funding sources for highways that reallocated approximately $ billion from sales taxes and motor vehicle sales taxes annually to highways. At that time, it was projected that even the additional funding available to San Antonio from that new source would not be sufficient to fund this project, so the tolled managed lane component was kept in the plans.

Tolling depreciated
In late , the governor and lieutenant governor directed the TTC to remove tolling from future projects. However, because Loop was already in local plans with tolling underpinning its funding, and because the projected funding for the area was still projected to be insufficient to cover its then $ million estimated cost, it retained its designation in local plans as a toll project. This was done because a viable funding source is required under federal rules in order for planning on a project to continue. 

Toll component removed; TxDOT takes project back
In mid , revised funding forecasts became substantially more favorable. In light of that, and with tolling deprecated statewide and all the other planned local toll projects already converted back to traditional funding, the MPO board voted to remove the toll component from this project and ARMA relinquished the project back to TxDOT.

New non-toll plans released
In September , TxDOT released the updated plans that removed the tolled managed lanes and replaced them with two additional non-toll general-purpose lanes and one HOV lane in each direction along with a redesigned interchange at I&#; It is expected that construction will start in on the first two sections.

Construction begins
In May , construction on the first phase of expansion, from Bandera Rd. to I, began.


Other sites of interest


Sours: http://www.texashighwayman.com/lpexp.shtml
Long-awaited Loop 1604 expansion project in northwest San Antonio getting underway

TxDOT CONSTRUCTION ON LOOP EXPANSION PROJECT

(May 7, ) – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is moving forward with plans to improve approximately 23 miles of Loop from SH 16 (Bandera Rd.) to I in north Bexar County.

The Loop Expansion Project involves several non-toll transportation improvements that are designed to improve mobility, reduce congestion and enhance safety along the high-traveled corridor.

Loop and I Interchange Visualization

Construction on Segment 1 of the project is set to start soon with improvements from SH 16 (Bandera Rd.) to I in northwest Bexar County.

Over the next few weeks, drivers will see message boards and signs along the corridor in preparation for construction. Crews will also begin preparing work zones with barrier placements and re-striping operations.

Drivers may see some lane closures on and around Loop from Babcock Rd. to I The following lane closures have been scheduled for the next two weeks starting Monday, May 10 to Friday, May 21 every night from p.m. to a.m.

  • Eastbound Loop entrance ramp to La Cantera Parkway
    • DETOUR: La Cantera Parkway traffic will continue on eastbound frontage road and enter Loop at next entrance ramp.
  • Eastbound Loop exit ramp to Vance Jackson
    • DETOUR: Traffic will be directed to exit at La Cantera Parkway, merge to the frontage road, and travel through the La Cantera Parkway intersection.

*Note: Closures are subject to change, due to weather.

Stay in the loop with project updates and closure information by subscribing here.

Sours: https://facilities.utsa.edu/txdot-construction-on-loopexpansion-project/

Project 1604 expansion

State and local leaders broke ground on the Loop North expansion project Monday, marking the formal start of construction efforts to alleviate congestion on San Antonio’s outer loop.

The project is critical to San Antonio and the state of Texas, said state Transportation Commission Chairman Bruce Bugg, as growth continues over the next three decades. By , San Antonio is on track to grow from million residents to million residents, he said. 

“This is why this project that we&#;re celebrating today is so necessary,” Bugg said.

Once fully complete, the project is expected to relieve congestion and improve traffic flow, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). It will also increase capacity with more lanes, including high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and create a fully directional five-level interchange at Interstate 10 and Loop

This project is part of TxDOT&#;s &#;historic&#; $ billion plan for upcoming and ongoing road projects, Bugg said, “to take care of our future growth in the San Antonio area.”

Donning construction hats and orange vests, state Sens. Donna Campbell, José Menéndez, and Roland Gutierrez stood next to Bugg, Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Chairman Kevin Webb, Precinct 3 Commissioner Trish DeBerry, and District 6 Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda as the group scooped sand with golden shovels.

While the groundbreaking marks the project’s official start, the $1 billion project kicked off in May. The loop’s expansion is a part of the Texas Clear Lanes project, a statewide traffic congestion relief initiative launched by Gov. Greg Abbott in

The full scope of the project consists of 23 miles of road improvements broken up into five construction segments along , stretching from State Highway 16 at Bandera Road to I Construction on the first segment, which consists of 5 miles of improvements from Bandera Road to I, began in May and is expected to be completed in

The cost of construction for the first segment is estimated at $ million, according to a TxDOT press release. The entire expansion project is expected to be completed by  

Funding is in place for the first three segments of construction, said Jonathan Bean, TxDot deputy district engineer for the San Antonio district. Funding for the project includes state money allocated from the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization by the Texas Transportation Commission. Construction on segments two and three is also expected to start this year. Funding for segments four and five still needs to be secured, Bean added.

The project will expand Loop from a four-lane expressway to a lane expressway, including an HOV lane in each direction, and will remove the cloverleaf connections and replace them with connected interchanges. It will also convert the I and Loop frontage road intersections into a partial roundabout to allow continuous traffic flow. The project will upgrade Blanco Road and Loop to a diverging diamond intersection, and will add improvements to better accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

Havrda said the expansion of Loop is also critical to San Antonio for the safety of its drivers. 

“I traversed when it was only two lanes — one lane in each direction — and it was called the death loop for a reason, because it was highly unsafe,” she said. “So the fact that we have expanded to the lanes that we have today, and now we&#;re looking at another opportunity to expand; this is not just about capacity, it&#;s not just about efficiency — it is about safety.”

Sours: https://sanantonioreport.org/loopnorth-expansion-txdot/
I35 Expansion Video

Loop expansion gets started on northwest side

SAN ANTONIO — Construction crews broke ground Monday on a huge project that will take several years to complete – expanding Loop from the northwest side to the northeast side – changing it from a four-lane expressway to a lane expressway. The Texas Department of Transportation has shared step-by-step plans of what will happen on their website.

TxDOT said the layout of auxiliary lanes and entrance and exit ramps will be changed and the cloverleaf connectors at I will be removed.

The project also includes accommodations for bicyclists, pedestrians, water quality protection and other highway features.

TxDOT said once it's complete, the improvements will reduce congestion, improve mobility and enhance safety by:

  • Decreasing future travel times by as much as 80 minutes
  • Increasing capacity with non-toll general purpose and HOV lanes
  • Integrating multimodal improvements with the construction of continuous sidewalks and bicycle accommodations
  • Creating a fully directional, five-level interchange at I and Loop

Updates about lane closures, traffic congestion and construction activity will be posted on both permanent and temporary digital message boards placed along the mile route.

Officials said daytime work is anticipated to take place Mondays through Saturdays, while nighttime work and any necessary lane closures are anticipated to take place between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday evenings through Friday mornings.

According to research by TxDOT, other benefits once the construction is completed are:

  • Decreasing future travel times by as much as 80 minutes
  • Increasing capacity with non-toll general purpose and HOV lanes
  • Integrating multimodal improvements with the construction of continuous sidewalks and bicycle accommodations 

For the latest on construction closures and traffic shifts, follow TxDOT on Facebook and Twitter or visit the San Antonio District’s Go Ahead! Blog.

Sours: https://www.kens5.com/article/news/local/loopexpansion-gets-started-on-northwest-side-running-to-northeast-side/fcbabeaf70

Now discussing:

Loop North Expansion Project | July Update

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We’re gearing up for construction, and that means keeping you informed about upcoming activities, potential impacts and what to expect.

Project Update

After project kickoff in May, the project team remained busy during the month of June prepping the construction site. Night work was performed with alternating lane closures that allowed for concrete barrier placement and striping along the first segment of the corridor from SH 16 (Bandera Road) to I

Construction truck entrances and exits were established to safely control the movement of the construction vehicles needed along the project. The contractor has also started work on the drill shafts and footings that will be the support system for the direct connector bridge approaches for Segment 1.

The project team's current focus is constructing the eastbound to westbound direct connector approach.

EB DC Work

Upcoming Work 

Upcoming work planned in July will include continued work on the eastbound to westbound direct connector approach. Additionally, the following work will begin:

  • Foundation work for the bridge widening over Bandera Road (westbound) will kick off.
  • Temporary signals will be placed at Hausman Road and Kyle Seale Parkway to allow for the construction of the new bridges at the intersection.
  • Roadway excavation necessary to prepare the areas for the improvements on the roadway will begin.
  • Work will get underway on the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and High Mast Illumination (HMI) to further improve safety along the corridor. The ITS components that will be used on the corridor include closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, Fiber Optic Cable installation for CCTV cameras and DMS (Dynamic Message Signs) to be used for TransGuide, the Traffic Management Center.
  • Storm water drainage work and movement of gas utilities will be ongoing as well.

TxDOT will continue to provide advance notification to stakeholders directly impacted by this upcoming work.

Similar to last month, TxDOT will announce updated lane closures as soon as they are identified and maintain open communication throughout the duration of project.

As always, all construction work is dependent upon weather conditions.

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About the Project

The Loop North Expansion Project involves miles of planned transportation improvements that are designed to increase mobility, reduce congestion and enhance safety along one of the most congested corridors in the state. The project includes the following planned improvements:

  • Expanding Loop from a four-lane expressway to a ten-lane expressway including one high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction.
  • Reconfiguring the layout of auxiliary lanes and entrance and exit ramps.
  • Removing the cloverleaf connectors. Replacing the cloverleaf interchange at I/Loop with a five-level direct connect interchange.
  • Adding direct connectors.
  • Converting the current signalized frontage road intersections at I /Loop interchange into a partial roundabout system to allow continuous traffic movement.
  • Upgrading Blanco Road and Loop to an innovative Diverging Diamond Intersection (DDI). 
  • Adding improvements and accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians, water quality protection, and other highway features.

Once complete, the planned project improvements will reduce congestion, improve mobility and enhance safety by:

  • Decreasing future travel times by as much as 80 minutes.
  • Increasing capacity with non-toll general purpose and HOV lanes.
  • Integrating multimodal improvements with the construction of continuous sidewalks and bicycle accommodations.
  • Creating a fully directional, five-level interchange at I and Loop

Learn more about the project by visiting www.loopnorth.com. 

Stay Connected

We Want You to Hear From You!

Community outreach is a key priority for TxDOT. In order to keep our neighbors updated on construction impacts, our team is offering the option to present to your community group, HOA, or neighborhood association.

Schedule a project briefing for your organization by emailing [email protected]

Sours: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXDOT/bulletins/2e7f2ee?reqfrom=share


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