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I-10 Other San Antonio Area Roads
I-10 West Projects (Boerne - Fair Oaks Ranch)

This page last updated July 17, 2021

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I-10 West projects map

Since the late aughts, TxDOT has been working on a program of projects on I-10 West between Loop 1604 and SH 46 to improve intersections, add new overpasses and widen existing ones, convert the access roads to one-way operation, and expand the mainlanes. This page contains information about the projects from Ralph Fair Rd. north to SH 46 in Boerne.

HOV For information on the recent mainlane expansion/HOV lane project between Ralph Fair Rd. and Loop 1604, see the I-10 from La Cantera to Ralph Fair page.

Note that all this work on I-10 between Loop 1604 and Boerne has been a series of individual projects, not one continuous project (see Q&A below for why.)

The overarching goal of several of these projects has been to convert the access roads to one-way operation from Leon Springs to Boerne. As this area continues to become more developed, one-way access roads will be safer and more efficient. For optimal operation and convenience, there needs to be a crossover every mile or so. Otherwise, someone turning onto a one-way access road just past an intersection and wanting to go the opposite direction could have to travel several miles out of their way; having a crossover every mile or so both minimizes this inconvenience and provides better access for emergency vehicles. This is the reason why new overpasses at Old Fredericksburg Road and Balcones Creek Road were included in the plans and also was the primary reason that the overpass at Dominion Drive was built a decade ago (despite cynical misinformation alleging otherwise.)

None of these projects are related to the recent Kendall Gateway (aka "Boerne Loop") study.

The schematics included for each project below are courtesy of TxDOT; the annotations on them are my own.

Q: Why is there constant construction along this section of I-10?
A: This is due to funding limitations. A few years into this century, TxDOT developed a master plan for improvements to I-10 from Loop 1604 to Boerne. However, because of constrained funding levels at that time, that plan had to be broken into multiple smaller projects in order to fit within projected funding, with each project being an incremental step toward the larger vision. Shortly after the first projects started near Camp Bullis Rd. and Dominion Dr., the legislature and voters approved new funding sources for transportation. This additional funding allowed the series of projects originally expected to be built piecemeal over two decades to be accelerated into the barrage of projects now underway or recently completed.

Here's an analogy: Imagine you want to renovate your house, but you don't have the money to do it all at once. So you make a plan based on your income and figure you can do one project every two years, which means there will be breaks between projects, but it will take eight years or so to get them all done. You start work on the kitchen, but while that's underway, you get an unexpected bonus at work. So you use it to do one of the bathrooms, which is a couple of years earlier than planned. Then a year later, you come into some more money and so now you can do another bathroom three years earlier than you expected, and you can also replace the floors five years earlier than you planned. So now, you have a house that's constantly under construction, but it's getting done faster than you planned. This is essentially what happened to TxDOT and their I-10 program.

The map below shows the timeline of all the projects in this corridor.

I-10 WEST (LOOP 1604 to SH 46) PROJECT HISTORY


1   SH 46 to Scenic Loop Road

This project is overhauling and redesigning the interchanges at SH 46 (W Bandera Road) and at Business 87 (S Main Street), completing the westbound frontage road between Business 87 and Christus Parkway, converting all the frontage roads to one-way, and changing the locations of the entrance and exit ramps. 

At SH 46, the existing overpass is being replaced with a new overpass consisting of two through lanes and a left turn lane in each direction. The access roads adjacent to the overpass are being re-aligned inward toward the mainlanes and portions of the old access roads at School St. and Upper Balcones Rd. are being converted to local service streets to maintain access but configured to minimize conflicts. A westbound to eastbound turnaround is also being constructed. Although not shown on the schematic below, the park & ride lot is being kept in its current location but is being reconfigured.

The Business 87 interchange is being rebuilt as a more conventional intersection. A new, wider overpass will replace the existing overpass and will end in a "T" at a realigned eastbound access road. (The City of Boerne plans to eventually build a new thoroughfare there.) There will be turnarounds for both directions. A new westbound access road will continue beyond the new intersection and join with the new frontage road recently completed near Christus Parkway. The existing entrance and exit ramps are being relocated further south from the intersection. A portion of the existing westbound access road at the southeast corner of the interchange is being converted to a service street to maintain access to local properties after the access road is realigned.

At Scenic Loop, an eastbound to westbound turnaround is being built and the entrance and exit ramps north of Scenic Loop are being relocated further north.

!There is an ongoing rumor "from a credible source" that the new SH 46 overpass is defective and will have to be torn-down and rebuilt. This is not true. In fact, work is scheduled to begin on July 6th, 2021 to realign the approach roadways to allow traffic to be shifted to the new overpass. There are a lot of moving parts to get that done-- much like a "sliding square puzzle"-- so it is anticipated to take about three months. The existing overpass will then be demolished and the rest of the new overpass constructed, with completion estimated in Spring of 2022.

The demolition of the S Main St. (US 81 Business) overpass has been delayed due to the discovery of migratory birds nesting under the bridge. Unfortunately, federal law (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act) prevents the birds from being disturbed. Once any nestlings have fledged and the birds have moved on, work can resume; it is expected that this will occur sometime in mid to late July.

Status:

  • Work started in June 2018
  • Estimated completion: Spring 2022 (74% complete)

Click above to see the schematic for this project


2   At Scenic Loop Road

This project lengthened and increased the height of the I-10 overpass at Scenic Loop in preparation for future turnarounds and intersection expansion (projects 1 and 3 on this page.)

  • Completed in 2017

3   Scenic Loop Road to Bexar County Line

This project is converting the access roads between Scenic Loop Road and Balcones Creek Road to one-way, building a westbound to eastbound turnaround at Scenic Loop, relocating the entrance and exit ramps further south, constructing new entrance and exit ramps for Balcones Creek Road (see project #4 below), and constructing new higher access road bridges over Balcones Creek. The existing "lower" access roads and crossover under I-10 at Balcones Creek will be kept.

  • Work started in July 2019
  • Estimated completion: Mid 2022 (81% complete)

Click above to see the schematic for this project


4   Kendall County Line to Fair Oaks Parkway

Ths project is constructing a new overpass for I-10 at Balcones Creek Road and the access roads are being converted to one-way from Balcones Creek Road to Fair Oaks Parkway. An eastbound to westbound turnaround at Fair Oaks Parkway is also being built as part of this project (not shown in the schematic.) The access roads between Balcones Creek Road and Scenic Loop Road are being converted to one-way in a separate project (see #2 above.)

  • Completed in early 2021

Click above to see the schematic for this project


5   At Fair Oaks Parkway/Tarpon Drive

The overpass has been widened to five lanes and realigned to join Fair Oaks Parkway to Tarpon Drive. The access roads south of Fair Oaks Pkwy have been converted to one-way and the entrance and exit ramps relocated as part of project #6 below. The current project at Balcones Creek Road (above) is converting the access roads north of Fair Oaks Pkwy to one-way and relocating the entrance and exit ramps north of Fair Oaks Parkway.

  • Project complete
  • The new overpass opened weekend of April 28th, 2018

  • Q: Why were the new entrance and exit ramps removed?
    A: Those ramps were built as temporary ramps to be used to detour traffic during the several mainlane closures that occurred during the project. They were never intended to be (and therefore not built to be) permanent. It may seem like wasted money, but as mentioned, they were built to be temporary, ergo they were cheap and the cost was more than made-up by the reduced delays to the public they facilitated during the mainlane closures. They have been/are being replaced by new permanent ramps further back that have been or are being built as part of other projects.

  • Q: Why wasn't the eastbound to westbound turnaround built at the same time as the other turnaround?
    A: Because that's being built as part of a separate project (#4 above.) That turnaround requires the access roads north of Fair Oaks to be one-way, which is being done as part of that project in conjunction with a new overpass at Balcones Creek Road.

6   Fair Oaks Parkway/Tarpon Drive to Ralph Fair Road

A new overpass for I-10 has been built at Old Fredericksburg Road connecting it to Buckskin Drive. The access roads have been converted to one-way, new entrance and exit ramps for this intersection added, and the exit and entrance ramps for Ralph Fair Road/Boerne Stage Road relocated.

  • Project completed in 2018

  • Q: Why are the signals at the new Buckskin/Old Fredericksburg intersection flashing red?
    A: These signals were installed for future use at this intersection, i.e. planners believe they will be needed in the future as traffic grows here, so it was more cost-effective to include them in the overpass project than to have to come back later and install them. For the moment, traffic volumes only necessitate a four-way stop, so the signals are used to supplement that. Engineers are monitoring traffic at this intersection and will switch to full red-yellow-green signal operation when traffic volumes warrant.

  • Q: When the access roads changed to one-way, why was only one lane open for the first couple of weeks?
    A: This was done as a safety measure while motorists got used to the new one-way pattern. By blocking the former opposing lane, drivers were forced to go the correct direction. 


  • Q: Why weren't all the new ramps opened at the same time?
    A: Two of the new ramps were at the location of the old ramps south of Fair Oaks and two more were located where the former ramps north of Ralph Fair were, so those ramps had to stay open and the new ramps at those locations couldn't be built until the replacement ramps at the new locations near Buckskin/Old Fredericksburg were open (think of the game where you have to move the numbered squares around to get them in order but only have one open square to work with.) Furthermore, those new ramps, because of their alignment, couldn't be opened until the access roads were one-way. To be able to have opened all eight new ramps at once would have required closing the four old ramps at Fair Oaks and at Ralph Fair for several weeks before the other ramps opened. This would have forced all westbound traffic headed to Fair Oaks to exit at Ralph Fair Rd. and use the access road for that entire distance (and the same for eastbound traffic coming from Fair Oaks) and would have forced all eastbound traffic headed to Ralph Fair to exit at Fair Oaks and follow the access road that entire distance (and the some for the opposite direction.)  It should be obvious now how bad of an idea that would have been. Road construction on an existing road is often likened to re-carpeting a room without removing the furniture-- this situation is a case in point.


7   SH 46 to Ralph Fair Road

This roughly $250 million project will expand the I-10 mainlanes to add one general-purpose mainlane in each direction (for a total of three) plus one HOV lane in each direction. All of the projects above were designed with this project in mind.

  • This project is currently "penciled-in" to start in 2031, but it is currently unfunded and therefore that date is highly tentative.
  • This project may be divided into smaller projects/phases to take advantage of available funding.

  • Q: Why wasn't this done in conjunction with all of the other projects in this corridor?
    A: This is due to funding limitations. Around the turn of the century, TxDOT developed a master plan for improvements to I-10 from Loop 1604 to Boerne. However, because of funding constraints at that time, that plan had to be broken into multiple smaller projects in order to fit within projected funding levels, with each project being an incremental step toward the larger vision. Although funding levels have improved over the past decade (thus resulting in the flurry of projects seen to date), this final project to compete that master plan has a large enough price tag that it is still in line for funding.


I-10 proposed cross-section
Proposed I-10 cross-section


Other sites of interest
TxDOT - I-10 Kendall Extension
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/san-antonio/i-10-kendall-extension.html
TxDOT - I-10 and Scenic Loop Road
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/san-antonio/i-10-scenic-loop.html.html
TxDOT - I-10 from SH 46 to FM 3351 (Ralph Fair Road)
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/san-antonio/071119.html
TxDOT - I-10 W Perimeter
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/san-antonio/i-10-w-perimeter.html




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This page and all its contents are Copyright 2019 by Brian Purcell

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