NEW LOOP 1604 LANES OPEN
The southbound expressway lanes from Bandera to Culebra opened on 4/23.
Antonio Area Freeway System
Loop 1604 (Charles W. Anderson
|This page last
updated April 17, 2016
||This page covers
the freeway segment of Loop 1604 across North San Antonio from FM 78 in
Converse to SH 151. The remainder of the 95 mile loop is
non-freeway, most of which is a two-lane rural road.
On this page
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
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.
construct the remaining four ramps of the interchange is projected to
start in 2017. Modified cloverleaf interchanges exist at I-10 and
I-35. At SH 151, an elevated direct connector is under
construction from southbound Loop 1604 to eastbound SH 151.
||Loop 1604 is
sometimes mistakenly referred to as FM 1604. However, it is correctly titled
Loop 1604; FM 1604 is in North Texas. (See the History section below for more
lanes along entire route
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 the
railroad tracks between Nacogdoches and Green
Click here for a list of Loop
- 70 mph
from Nacogdoches to Bandera Rd.
- 65 mph
from Pat Booker to FM 78
- 65 mph
from Bandera Rd. to SH 151
SPECIAL FEATURES & NOTES
- TransGuide coverage from Lockhill-Selma to SH 151
at-grade turnoffs ('right-on, right-off") with no median
crossover in Universal City
directional interchanges at US 281 and SH 151
Metropolitan Transit University Park & Ride located
under I-10 interchange
parking area on northbound ramp to/from FM 78
yield sign arrangement at I-10 interchange; click here for more
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
has moderated substantially during the past decade. Generally,
volume is moderate to heavy along entire route. Traffic on the
section north of Bandera Rd. increased tenfold between 1990 and
2013. Recurring congestion occurs during morning and
evening peak periods between Bandera Rd. and US 281.
|AVERAGE ANNUAL DAILY
|E of FM 78||9,400||23,000||30,000||31,000||31,000||30,234||+31.45%|
|W of FM 78||18,300||40,000||57,000||54,000||55,000||52,127||+30.32%|
|Pat Booker Rd.||19,800||66,000||75,000||75,000||64,000||72,360||+9.64%|
|Green Mountain Rd.||15,800||64,000||89,000||90,000||88,000||86,454||+35.08%|
|Gold Canyon Dr.||19,800||93,000||114,000||101,000||105,000||100,184||+7.72%|
|W of US 281N||24,000||101,000||133,000||134,000||120,000||121,680||+20.48%|
|La Cantera Pkwy.||21,000||76,000||111,000||112,000||113,000||114,849||+51.12%|
|N of Bandera Rd.||10,200||65,000||91,000||97,000||100,000||102,158||+57.17%|
|S of Bandera Rd.||8,700||48,000||67,000||80,000||83,000||72,175||+50.36%|
- At SH 151/Alamo
Ranch Parkway: Click here for
details on this project.
Click here to view information for all projects in this
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
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,
officials identified funding to construct new toll-free expressway
Bandera Rd. south to SH 151. After a funding swap to remove
funding from the project, it was removed from the overarching
for the corridor, which will allow the state to begin contruction
study is complete. The new southbound expressway lanes were open
to traffic on April 23, 2016. 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. For the Potranco to US 90 segment, click here.
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
Loop 1604 was assembled
from a number of Farm-to-Market and State Loop roads in the early '60s. One
of the FM roads that was included was FM 1604, and segments of other
roads added to the loop were subsequently renumbered
as FM 1604. However, when the loop was done and state officials
were ready to
change the designation from FM to a Loop, they found that the 1604
number had become ingrained with area residents. So in 1977, they
simply changed the route
designation to Loop 1604. As a result, Loop 1604 holds the distinction as the only four-digit state highway in Texas that is not a
Farm-to-Market road. FM 1604 has since been recycled and is in use in
Irene, Texas, east of Hillsboro. Regardless, many locals still mistakenly refer to Loop 1604 as FM 1604.
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.
at I-10 and I-35 were completed ca. 1986. Around 1987, the
US 281 and I-10 was upgraded to a four lane freeway. The section
281 and I-35 was upgraded to a freeway in two phases in the late
segment from I-10 to Babcock was upgraded in the early '90s as was the
from I-35 to FM 78. The section from Babcock to Braun Rd. was
1996. The section from Braun Rd. to near Culebra was upgraded to
highway in 1999, and the overpass at Culebra opened in mid 2004.
coverage was added to the section between Babcock and Tradesman in
previously-missing access roads between NW Military and Bitters were
during the Summer of 2002. TransGuide coverage was extended to
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
was completed in 2007 and work to widen the section from FM 78 to Lower
Rd. to a divided highway was complete in September 2011.
Work to upgrade the section from Lower Seguin Rd. to I-10 East to
a four lane divided highway was completed in 2015.
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.
Contruction to upgrade the section from Bandera Rd. to SH 151 a four lane freeway was completed in mid 2016. The southbound expressway lanes from Bandera to Culebra opened on April 23rd, 2016.