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 Freeway System
Loop 1604 from Potranco to US 90
page last updated December 4, 2017
1604 from Potranco Rd. to US 90
Status: Under construction (23% complete)
This project will upgrade Loop
1604 at this location from a four-lane divided highway to a four-lane,
expressway. This includes adding
an underpass at Dove Canyon/Falcoln Wolf, expanding the existing overpass at
Marbach, and adding continuous access
and entrance and exit ramps. The expansion will be completed
the existing northbound lanes to the northbound access road, converting
the existing southbound lanes to northbound expressway lanes, and
constructing the remaining lanes (southbound expressway and access
road.) Unbeknownst to most motorists, the existing divided
was orignially designed to eventually be expanded to an expressway as
described above; this will expedite the work a bit, reduce the project's cost, and minimize
project will also build a direct connector flyover from SB Loop 1604 to
EB US 90 and the existing cloverleaf ramp from SB Loop 1604 to EB US 90
will be removed. The existing signalized intersections at US 90
remain, but a second overpass for Loop 1604 over US 90 will be built--
that new overpass will become the northbound lanes and the
existing overpass will used for the southbound lanes. The divided
highway will then end just south of US 90 and merge into the existing
cost of this project is $64.1 million and is being paid for with local
funds from the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority as part of the larger
$825 five-year regional transportation plan announced in January 2014.
A separate project on US 90 is converting the US 90 access roads to one-way and building a turnaround
from WB to EB US 90 at Loop 1604, which should remove an appreciable
amount of traffic from the intersections at Loop 1604.
project will help
Staggering ongoing growth in this area of
Antonio necessitates upgrading this
roadway. The new
overpasses at the currently signalized intersections will allow for
continuous free-flowing traffic through the corridor. The four
expressway lanes are anticipated to handle the projected traffic in
this corridor for the next 20 years. The
US 90 will remove that traffic from the remaining signalized
at US 90.
Timeline: Construction began in early 2017 and is scheduled to be complete in early 2020. Click here for the latest status.
- Why was the crossover at Emory Peak removed? Nobody told us when we moved here it would be removed someday.
was always planned for that crossover to be temporary and be removed
when Loop 1604 was expanded. The developer of the Laurel Mountain Ranch
subdivision was aware of this and was obligated to inform buyers.
already a crossover at Emory Peak. Why close it and add a new crossover
at Falcon Wolf/Dove Canyon where there isn't one today?
freeway corridor, one mile is generally considered to be the ideal
interval for crossovers. When crossovers are closer than that, it
complicates entrance and exit ramp placement and shortens
weaving areas or forces some traffic to traverse an additional signalized
intersection, all of which decreases safety and increases
congestion. Emory Peak is located just 1/2 mile from Marbach
whereas Falcon Wolf/Dove Canyon is located at just about one
mile from Marbach and a little over one mile from Potranco; in other
words, it's more ideally located for a crossover. Furthermore, the Falcon Wolf/Dove Canyon location connects a roadway on both sides of Loop 1604, also a
more ideal situation. Were it not for the steep elevation differences
there, a crossover would have been built there many years ago. Finally,
it is envisioned that Falcon Wolf will eventually extend to Marbach
(and does now via Big Wolf Creek) and Dove Canyon will eventually
extend to Grosenbacher via American Lotus, thus making this a future
east-west thoroughfare crossing.
- Why are the new sections of Loop 1604 only four lanes? It needs to be six lanes or more.
number of lanes for a new roadway is based on current and projected
traffic volumes for the next 20 years. Twenty years is the accepted
planning horizon for a couple of reasons. First, 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). Second, that length of time is
the longest that any projections can be considered even remotely
reasonable. Since nobody has a crystal ball, traffic
projections are "educated guesses" based on the
best data available for future development in an area and past growth.
Roads are then planned based on those projections. In the case of the
new segments of Loop 1604, those projections show that four lanes will
be adequate for the 20 years. TxDOT, as a steward of taxpayer dollars,
cannot spend more than they can justify, a policy I'm sure most
taxpayers support, especially with all the other needs that need
are cross sections and full schematics for this project. The
schematics are divided into the northern and southern sections; click
on the section to see an annotated overview schematic of each
this project. These plans are courtesy of TxDOT and are
change. Annotations are my own.
are somewhat large and may take a few seconds to open.)
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