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Loop 1604 San Antonio Area Freeway System
State Loop 1604 (Charles W. Anderson Loop)

This page last updated October 14, 2014

Loop 1604 highlight map This page covers the freeway segment of Loop 1604 across North San Antonio from FM 78 in Converse to Braun Rd.  The remainder of the 95 mile loop is non-freeway, most of which is a two-lane rural road.

Length: 27 miles


On this page

Overview
 
Roadway
details
Schematic
(Not yet available)
Lanes Access
roads
         
Exits
 
Speed
limits
Special features
& notes
Traffic Media gallery
         
   
  Construction
projects
Future
plans
History
 
 
         

Overview

When it was built in the 1960s, nobody ever believed that Loop 1604 North would become the busy beltline that it is today.  While the southern half remains in its original configuration as a two lane rural state highway, most of the northern arc has been expanded to a four lane freeway.  Loop 1604 forms the outer of San Antonio's two beltways and the freeway portion serves Randolph AFB, Rolling Oaks Mall, the Stone Oak development, Camp Bullis, the University of Texas at San Antonio's (UTSA) main campus, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the Shops at La Cantera and the La Cantera development, The Rim development, Valero Energy's headquarters campus, and the suburbs of Converse, Universal City, Live Oak, Hollywood Park, Shavano Park, and Helotes.  The corridor runs through increasingly dense suburban residential areas with some moderate to heavy commercial development, especially near I-35, US 281, I-10, and Bandera Rd.

There is only half of a fully directional interchange at US 281.  Motorists must use access roads and a signalized 3-level interchange to access US 281 north of 1604.  Work to construct the remaining four ramps of the interchange may begin in 2014 or 2015.  Modified cloverleaf interchanges exist at I-10 and I-35.


Loop 1604 is sometimes mistakenly referred to as FM 1604.  However, it is indeed Loop 1604; FM 1604 is in North Texas.  (See the History section below for more info.)

Roadway details

LANES

    • 4 lanes along entire route
 

ACCESS ROADS

Loop 1604 access roads map
  • Continuous access roads along all of route except:
    • East of Pat Booker except for a short section of access road southbound from Pat Booker to Kitty Hawk
    • At I-35
    • At the railroad tracks between Nacogdoches and Green Mountain
 
EXITS

 
Click here for a list of Loop 1604 exits.

 

SPEED LIMITS

Loop 1604 speed limit map
  • 70 mph from Nacogdoches to Bandera Rd.
  • 65 mph from Pat Booker to FM 78
 

SPECIAL FEATURES & NOTES

Loop 1604 special features map
  • TransGuide coverage from Lockhill-Selma to Bandera Rd.
  • Five at-grade turnoffs ('right-on, right-off") with no median crossover in Universal City
  • Partial directional interchange at US 281
  • VIA Metropolitan Transit University Park & Ride located under I-10 interchange
  • Carpool parking area on northbound ramp to/from FM 78
  • Unusual yield sign arrangement at I-10 interchange; click here for more information
 

TRAFFIC

Loop 1606 traffic map
Traffic volume legend
 

Loop 1604 experienced ridiculously blistering traffic growth during the 1990s with average AADT counts up well over 300% along nearly the entire route, and up nearly 800% near Bandera Rd.  However, that moderated a bit during the past decade.  Still, the section west of I-10 was up nearly 100% overall.  Generally, volume is moderate to heavy along entire route.  The section between I-10 and US 281 now exceeds 100,000 vehicles per day, up from a paltry 25,000 in 1990.   Recurring congestion occurs during morning and evening peak periods between Bandera Rd. and US 281.

 

AVERAGE ANNUAL DAILY TRAFFIC
LOCATION 1990 2002 2007 2010 2011 2012 '02-'12
% CHG
E of FM 78 9,400 23,000 30,000 26,000 31,000 31,000 +34.78%
W of FM 78 18,300 43,000 28,000 56,000 54,000 55,000 +27.91%
Pat Booker Rd. 19,800 59,000 72,000 65,000 75,000 64,000 +8.47%
Lookout Rd. 21,000 67,000 85,000 81,000 95,000 91,000 +35.82%
Green Mountain Rd. 15,800 58,000 78,000 70,000 90,000 88,000 +51.72%
O'Connor Rd. 16,800 69,000 87,000 78,000 89,000 88,000 +27.54%
Gold Canyon Dr. 19,800 86,000 109,000 96,000 101,000 105,000 +22.09%
W of US 281N 24,000 104,000 122,000 118,000 134,000 120,000 +15.38%
Bitters Rd. 25,000 85,000 114,000 107,000 129,000 113,000 +32.94%
Tradesman Dr. 26,000 85,000 115,000 108,000 133,000 128,000 +50.59%
La Cantera Pkwy. 21,000 71,000 100,000 113,000 112,000 113,000 +59.15%
Hausmann Rd. 13,300 61,000 88,000 95,000 99,000 100,000 +63.93%
N of Bandera Rd. 10,200 59,000 88,000 94,000 97,000 100,000 +69.49%
S of Bandera Rd. 8,700 41,000 69,000 65,000 80,000 83,000 +102.44%


Construction projects

  • At SH 151/Alamo Ranch Parkway: Click here for details on this project.

Click here to view information for all projects in this corridor.

Additionally, on the east end, work is underway to widen the loop to a four lane divided highway from Lower Seguin Rd. to I-10 East.


Future plans

TxDOT and the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority released plans in June 2007 for a $1.8 billion mega-project to upgrade and expand Loop 1604 across northern San Antonio from Military Dr. West around to I-10 East.  This project would have added tolled expressway lanes where there are currently no expressway lanes (i.e. south of Braun Rd. and south of FM 78).  Between Braun and FM 78, the project would have added new tolled express "managed" lanes in the median between the existing free expressway lanes, which would have remained toll-free.  Additionally, it would have built major interchanges at SH 151, I-10W, US 281N, I-35N, and I-10E, as well as modifications and improvements on those intersecting roads.  That project has been shelved and a new environmental impact study on the entire corridor is currently underway and is expected to be completed in 2012.

For more information on the tollway plans for Loop 1604, see the Loop 1604 tollway project page.

In February 2009, Congress approved a national economic "stimulus" plan that poured additional federal money into road construction projects.  The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) approved allocating San Antonio's share of transportation stimulus funding to be used as matching funds to leverage state funding for first half of a 281/1604 interchange.  This project built all four of the ramps connecting to 281 south of 1604, i.e. northbound 281 to both directions of 1604, and both directions of 1604 to southbound 281.  The use of the federal funds allowed the ramps to be toll-free.  The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) approved the funding request on March 5th, 2009.  Construction began in early 2011 and was complete in mid 2013.  It was determined that ramps connecting to 281 north of 1604 could not be built until lingering issues stemming from the lawsuits and associated environmental studies for 281 north of 1604 are resolved.  However, funding has already been set aside for those ramps so that construction can begin as soon as the legal and environmental issues are resolved.  For more information on the 281/1604 interchange, click here.

On March 13th, 2009, it was reported that opponents to the 281 North toll project were considering a legal challenge to the 281/1604 interchange on the grounds that it should be subject to a new environmental review as part of the entire Loop 1604 and US 281 studies.  However, as of the end of 2009, no lawsuits had been filed.  Environmentalists again hinted in late April 2010 that they might sue to stop the interchange unless sufficient measures were taken to protect endangered species in the vicinity.  Despite reported negotiations, a lawsuit was subsequently filed in August 2010.  In early February 2011, the federal judge in the case indicated that he would not be issuing an injunction against the project prior to hearing the case and work on the project subsequently began later that month.  In April 2011, the federal judge officially denied an injunction against the project and it is presumed the lawsuit was eventutally dismissed as moot.

In May 2012, local officials identified funding to construct new toll-free expressway lanes from Bandera Rd. south to Wiseman Blvd.  After a funding swap to remove federal funding from the project, it was removed from the overall environmental study for the corridor, which will allow the state to begin contruction before the study is complete.  For more information on this project, click here.

In January 2014, TxDOT and ARMA officials announced funding had been secured to extend the planned non-toll expressway south from SH 151 to US 90.  For information on the Culebra to Potranco segment, click here.


History

Authorized by Minute Order 72928 (June 30, 1977).  Named for former Bexar County Judge Charles W. Anderson who died from cancer in 1964 after serving for 25 years on the bench.

Loop 1604 was assembled from a number of Farm-to-Market and State Loop roads in the early '60s and holds the distinction as the only four-digit road in Texas that is not a Farm-to-Market road.  One of the FM roads that was included in the eventual loop was FM 1604, and segments of other roads added to the loop were renumbered as FM 1604.  However, when the loop was done and state officials were ready to change the designation to a Loop, they found that the 1604 number had become familiar to area residents.  So in 1977 they simply changed the route designation to Loop 1604.  (FM 1604 has since been recycled and is in use in Irene, Texas, east of Hillsboro.)

Loop 1604 usurped all or parts of FM 1518, FM 1604, FM 1627, and FM 2173.  FM 1518 ran from Somerset east to Elmendorf, then north to near US 87 and then on to Schertz.  FM 1627 was a short road connecting I-35 to Pat Booker, and FM 2173 connected Somerset to Macdona.  There was also a proposed Loop 334, which would've run along today's 1604 routing from I-10 West to Macdona; this route was instead eventually built as part of the 1604 project.

In the mid '50s, work began on the first segment of FM 1604 from I-10 to US 281 and was completed around 1958.  By 1964, it had been extended to Bandera Rd. on the west and to I-10 East.  It reached Macdonna ca. 1974.  FM 2173 and 1518 were upgraded and redesignated as FM 1604 in the mid '70s, and the missing section, between I-10 East and FM 1518 was built in the late '70s.

The current interchanges at I-10 and I-35 were completed around 1986.  Around 1987, the section between US 281 and I-10 was upgraded to a four lane freeway.  The section between US 281 and I-35 was upgraded to a freeway in two phases in the late '80s.  The segment from I-10 to Babcock was upgraded in the early '90s as was the section from I-35 to FM 78.  The section from Babcock to Braun Rd. was completed in 1996.  The section from Braun Rd. to near Culebra was upgraded to a divided highway in 1999, and the overpass at Culebra opened in mid 2004.  TransGuide coverage was added to the section between Babcock and Tradesman in 1999.  The previously missing access roads between NW Military and Bitters were added during the Summer of 2002.  TransGuide coverage was extended to the section from I-10 to Bandera Rd. in April 2003.  Work to upgrade the section from SH 151 south to US 90 from a two lane rural road to a four lane divided highway was completed in 2007 and work to widen the section from FM 78 to Lower Seguin Rd. to a divided highway was complete in September 2011.

The first ramps in the 281/1604 interchange opened on November 8, 2012, with the remainder opening a few days before Christmas that same year.  The remainder of the improvements associated with the interchange project, including additional lanes on 1604 and some ramp modifications, were all complete by mid 2013.

An overpass for Vance Jackson Rd. was completed in mid 2013.


This page and all its contents are Copyright 2013 by Brian Purcell

NOTICE
The information provided on this website is provided on an "as-is" basis without warranties of any kind either express or implied.  The author and his agents make no warranties or representations of any kind concerning any information contained in this website.  This website is provided only as general information.  The author expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based upon the information contained herein or with respect to any errors or omissions in such information.  All opinions expressed are strictly those of the author.  This site is not affiliated in any way with any official agency.