Antonio Area Freeway System
Loop 1604 from Potranco to US 90
page last updated September 20, 2019
1604 from Potranco Rd. to US 90
Construction substantially complete.
This project upgraded Loop
1604 at this location from a four-lane divided highway to a four-lane,
toll-free freeway. This included 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 was 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 previous divided
was orignially designed to eventually be expanded to a freeway as
described above; this helped expedite the work a bit, reduced the project's cost, and minimized
project also built a direct connector (flyover) from SB Loop 1604 to
EB US 90, and the existing cloverleaf ramp from southbound Loop 1604 to eastbound US 90
will be removed. The existing signalized intersections at US 90
remain, but a second overpass for Loop 1604 over US 90 has been built for the northbound lanes and the
previously-existing overpass is now used for the southbound lanes. The divided
highway now ends just south of US 90 and merges 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 converted the US 90 access roads to one-way and built the turnaround
from westbound to eastbound US 90 at Loop 1604, which should remove an appreciable
amount of traffic from the intersections at Loop 1604.
This project and an adjacent project extended the Loop 1604 freeway from SH 151 to US 90.
project will help
Staggering ongoing growth in this area of
Antonio necessitated upgrading this
roadway. The new freeway
overpasses at the signalized intersections allows for
continuous free-flowing traffic through the corridor. The four freeway 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.
Construction began in early 2017 and estimated completion is mid 2019. Click
for the latest status report on this project.
The northbound mainlanes opened on June 8th. The southbound mainlanes and flyover at US 90 opened on June 13th.
- 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 to be removed
when Loop 1604 was expanded. The developer of the Laurel Mountain Ranch
subdivision was aware of this and should have informed buyers.
- There was
already a crossover at Emory Peak. Why close it and add a new crossover
at Falcon Wolf/Dove Canyon where there wasn't one previously?
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 and motorist inconvenience. 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 planned for Falcon Wolf to eventually extend to Marbach
on the east
(and it essentially already does now via Big Wolf Creek) and for Dove
Canyon to eventually
extend to Grosenbacher via American Lotus on the west, thus making it a
east-west thoroughfare and making the overpass at Loop 1604 more
logical. In other words, the overpass at Falcon Wolf/Dove Canyon is
one piece of a larger puzzle that's still being put together.
- Why are the new sections of Loop 1604 only four lanes? It needs to be six lanes or more.
lot of people see the congestion on Loop 1604 North and assert that
this stretch needs to be wider than four lanes (i.e. two lanes in each direction) to start with. However, this stretch of
Loop 1604 carries less than a third of the traffic that most sections
of Loop 1604 North do (34,000 vehicles per day at Potranco vs. 123,000
at Bandera.) That current volume, and the projections for the next
20 years, indicate that four lanes should
be adequate. Twenty years is the accepted
planning horizon because 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), and because that's the length
of time that any projections can be considered even remotely
reasonable. Will this section experience congestion before 20 years? Maybe. Nobody has a crystal ball, so traffic
projections are "educated guesses" based on past growth
best data available for future growth in an area. Furthermore,
road capacity is always theoretical-- many other factors other than
just the number of lanes affect congestion levels. But as a steward of taxpayer dollars, TxDOT cannot spend more than they can empirically justify, a policy I'm sure most
taxpayers support to prevent corruption. And spending now on extra lanes that may or may not be needed in
the future takes away funding for other projects that are needed today.
- Is the one-way access road at the eastbound US 90 exit to Loop 1604 permanent? If so, why?
has been a heated topic of conversation especially among residents
of the Canyon Crossing subdivision off of Cagnon
Road southwest of the US 90/Loop 1604 intersection. The answer is yes,
this is a permanent change. The reason why is simple-- safety. One-way
access roads have been proven to reduce crashes dramatically. In this
case especially, the left turn onto Cagnon was fairly close to the
exit from US 90. Therefore, high-speed traffic exiting from US 90 was
quickly in a conflict with that left-turning traffic.
Furthermore, one-way access roads are much more efficient from a
traffic-carrying perspective-- an important consideration in a growing
area. A future expansion project on US 90 will extend the access road
to the west, which could help mitigate the impact of this change. (Note
that this change was actually not done as part of the project discussed
on this page, but I've addressed it here because this page covers
ongoing construction at this location.)
the image below to open the detailed schematic for this
project from TxDOT with my own annotations added to help clarify and
explain the various elements. The schematic will
open in a new window that you can scroll and zoom.
schematic is somewhat large and may take a few seconds to open.)
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