SAN ANTONIO FREEWAY HISTORY
Read my essay on San Antonio's freeway history for the Express-News' Tricentennial series
The full history of the freeway system is available on this site
Antonio Area Roads & More
page last updated January 3, 2013
San Antonio unfortunately
suffers from a mind-boggling, arcane and bewildering addressing system
and it's two loops are no exception. The start with, both
410 and Loop 1604 use different naming and numbering systems.
Once you've mastered that, you quickly realize that the
demarcation between the segments is not clearly deliniated.
that wasn't enough, the numbering pattern is not always consistent even
on the same loop.
So let's take a look at each loop individually below.
Of the two loops, Loop 410 has the easiest basic layout to understand.
It's divided into four quadrants: NW, NE, SE, and SW.
can help to visualize it as a diamond:
the dividing lines
for each segment are approximate. For example, there is at
one NE Loop 410 address west of McCullough. The addressing
and NE segments starts at the north and works southward.
Addressing for the SW and SE
segments, however, also works
southward. The numbering for SW Loop 410 resets near SH 151
increases from there; for SE Loop 410, the numbering restarts near I-10
East. On NW and NE Loop 410, the addresses essentially start
zero instead of 100 like on most "normal" numbering plans, but appears
to start with 100 for the SW and SE segments. On the
part of the Loop 410 access road is actually Chavaneaux Rd., so that
street's numbering is used there. On the northeast side where
Loop 410 and I-35 run concurrent, I-35's addressing is used.
indicators on the highway itself, the dividing lines are I-35 on both
the north and south sides of town, I-37 on the southeast side, and
Bandera Rd. on the northwest side. For instance, westbound
410 becomes southbound Loop 410 at Bandera Rd.
basic layout is
quite a bit more complex, although when you break it down, it's not
quite as intimidating as it might initially seem. First of
the loop is divided into four quadrants: North, East, South, and West.
However, each quadrant is then split into two halves: West
East or North and South. So it helps to think of each
it's own street with directional divisions. For instance,
like Commerce Street is divided into East and West halves, North Loop
1604 and South Loop 1604 are also divided into East and West halves.
Similarly, just as Zarzamora Street is divided into North and
South sections, so are West Loop 1604 and East Loop 1604.
it might help to visualize Loop 1604 as a square with each side then
with Loop 410,
the dividing lines for each segment are not exact, so some numbering
may "bleed over" the streets shown. Fortunately, unlike Loop
numbering plan is much more consistant on Loop 1604. The
numbering starts in the middle of each quadrant and works outward, just
as it does for Commerce and Zarzamora streets. However, the
naming convention for Loop 1604 can get quite confusing in a hurry.
The rule is that the quadrant name comes first and
preceeds "Loop 1604"; the directional half is then tacked onto the
of course, is different than regular street names like
Commerce and Zarzamora where the directional half is prefixed, e.g.
East Commerce and South Zarzamora.) So 1000 West Loop 1604
would be on the west quadrant of Loop 1604 not far north of Potranco,
but 1000 North Loop 1604 West
would be on the north quadrant of Loop
1604 a short distance west of Stone Oak. Those are quite a
apart, so you can see that the order of the directional markers is
important! Complicating all of this is the fact that lots of
folks along Loop 1604 don't understand this addressing system and list
their addresses wrong. It's not uncommon see addresses like 1000 Loop 1604 W or 1000 NW Loop 1604. The post
able to find them because of their ZIP code, so that can be helpful
in narrowing it down if you have that and access to a ZIP code map.
Otherwise, if you're searching for such an
address, a phone call is likely in order to get directions or
least the nearest
As for the
indicators on the highway itself, the dividing lines are mostly the
same as those for the addressing with one exception: Benton City Rd. is
the dividing line on the southwest corner instead of Somerset Rd.
For instance, westbound Loop 1604 becomes southbound Loop
Bandera Rd. That's also where
North Loop 1604 West becomes West
Loop 1604 North!
This is San
home of loops and wonky addressing. When the two are
can make for some real fun! Take this advice: unless you know
exactly where you're going (Google Maps can actually be pretty helpful,
even on our loops), call your destination ahead of time and get
directions. It will likely save you lots of frustration and