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Wurzbach Pkwy San Antonio Area Freeway System
Wurzbach Parkway

This page last updated December 2, 2016

Wurzbach Pkwy highlight map This page covers the Wurzbach Parkway in North San Antonio.

Length: 12 miles


On this page

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

Overview

There are no true east-west arterials between Loop 410 and Loop 1604 in North San Antonio.  As a result, Loop 410, Loop 1604, and many of the zig-zagged arterials in the area are overburdened trying to facilitate east-west traffic.  The Wurzbach Parkway is a new east-west "super-arterial" across northern San Antonio connecting I-10 to I-35.  It was intended to help reduce the load on both loops as well as arterials in the vicinity by facilitating many of the shorter-distance east-west trips across the northside, although it can and is often used for longer journeys.

The parkway was developed under the now-retired Principal Arterial Street System (PASS) program and carries a TxDOT route number of PA-1502.  Prior to 2014, this route number was not signed, but has been signed now at several locations.  (Technically, the "PA" in the route number is short for Principal Arterial, not Parkway, although that works, too.)

The route passes through a variety of urban land uses.  The eastern end of the route passes through a light commercial and industrial area before entering the former Longhorn Quarry, which was redeveloped as an entertainment area with an amusement park, high school football stadium, and soccer complex including the home stadium for San Antonio's professional team.  The parkway then passes through the commercial, residential, and light industrial areas around Perrin-Beitel and Nacogdoches before passing over an active quarry near Wetmore Rd.  Continuing west, the parkway passes through mostly undeveloped land near the airport before passing into a light industrial and commercial area.  Approaching 281, the parkway passes over the wooded Salado Creek bed for a short distance.  West of 281, the route continues through a mostly undeveloped area before passing over a flood control basin.  Near Blanco, the route traverses residential areas before bisecting Hardberger Park.  Commercial and residential development line the route at the far western end where it merges into the pre-existing Wurzbach Road.


Roadway details

The parkway features four and six lanes divided by a raised island and/or a concrete divider.  There are no continuous access roads along most of the route.  Connections to local streets and driveways is limited and there are overpasses at most major intersections.  The route is technically classified as a "super-arterial" rather than a freeway and, as such, the road is a hybrid between a major street and a minor expressway with the general appearance and function of a narrow expressway.  The right-of-way is generally 120 feet wide along the route and 220 feet wide at interchanges.  The route includes bike lanes, aesthetically-pleasing structures, and noise abatement walls. 

The parkway has overpasses and interchanges at Blanco, West Ave., US 281, Jones-Maltsberger, Starcrest, Wetmore, Nacogdoches, Perrin-Beitel, Thousand Oaks.  The interchange at Wetmore is a partial cloverleaf; the others are diamonds.  There is a short stretch of frontage road in both directions between US 281 and West Ave.

While most of the parkway is controlled-access (i.e. expressway), the eastern and western ends each have two at-grade, signalized intersections; these are intended to provide a controlled transition from expressway to the signalized surface roadways that the parkway connects to on either end.  At the far eastern end, the parkway crosses Weidner at a signalized, at-grade intersection and terminates at a signalized intersection where it merges with the pre-existing O'Connor Road.  Through traffic can then continue east on O'Connor to I-35.  The western end meets NW Military and Lockhill-Selma at signalized, at-grade intersections before tying-into the pre-existing Wurzbach Rd.  where through traffic can continue west to I-10 and beyond.  Improvements were made to that section of Wurzbach to support the anticipated increases in traffic from the completed parkway and additional improvements are being considered.

Most of the parkway has a designated bike lane in each direction.  The section between Lockhill-Selma and NW Military has a landscaped and lighted pedestrian trail in the median, and part of the Salado Creek Greenway passes under or alongside of the parkway between US 281 and Starcrest.

There are currently no direct connectors to US 281.  Instead, traffic destined to US 281 exits the parkway and uses the US 281 access roads.  Traffic wanting to make a "left turn" from the parkway onto US 281 proceeds right onto the US 281 access road, then makes a U-turn at the next downstream turnaround (Bitters or Nakoma).  Initial plans looked at two possible interchange designs including an elevated roundabout or a mixed direct-connect and cloverleaf interchange, but funding limitations and additional restrictions caused by the proximity to San Antonio International Airport's runways caused those plans to be shelved.  TxDOT has indicated they may study them again at a future date.

EXITS


EASTBOUND
(from Lockhill-Selma):

  • FM 1535/NW Military Hwy (At-grade signalized intersection)
  • FM 2696/Blanco Rd 
  • Vista Del Norte Dr (at-grade turn-off)
  • West Ave
  • US 281
  • Jones-Maltsberger Rd
  • COSA Brush Recycling Center (at-grade turn-off)
  • Starcrest Dr
  • Wetmore Rd
  • Nacogdoches Rd
  • FM 2252/Perrin-Beitel Rd
  • Thousand Oaks Dr
  • Turnaround
  • Weidner Rd (At-grade signalized intersection)
  • Parkway ends at O'Connor Rd/Crosswinds Way (At-grade signalized intersection)

WESTBOUND (from O'Connor/Crosswinds):

  • Weidner Rd (At-grade signalized intersection)
  • Thousand Oaks Dr
  • FM 2252/Perrin-Beitel Rd
  • Nacogdoches Rd
  • Wetmore Rd
  • McAllister Park (at-grade turn-off)
  • Starcrest Dr
  • Jones-Maltsberger Rd
  • US 281
  • West Ave
  • Vista Del Norte Dr (at-grade turn-off)
  • FM 2696/Blanco Rd (At-grade signalized intersection)
  • FM 1535/NW Military Hwy (At-grade signalized intersection)
  • Parkway ends at Lockhill-Selma and becomes Wurzbach Rd (At-grade signalized intersection)
SPEED LIMITS

  • 60 mph between Blanco and Weidner
  • 50 mph between NW Military and Blanco
  • 45 mph east of Weidner and west of NW Military
After completion, sections were initially signed at 45 mph because of TxDOT engineering policies for roadways that include curbs, sidewalks, and bike lanes.  Speed studies were subsequently performed and supported an increase to the current limits.
 
SPECIAL FEATURES & NOTES

  • Bike lanes WB from Perrin-Beitel to Jones-Maltsberger and from West Ave. to Lockhill-Selma; EB from Lockhill-Selma to Blanco, along Vista Del Norte from Blanco back to Wurzbach Parkway, then from Vista Del Norte to West Ave. and from Starcrest to Perrin-Beitel
  • Walking trail in median between Lockhill-Selma and NW Military
  • Hike/bike trail under parkway at US 281 and adjacent to EB parkway between Jones-Maltsberger and Starcrest
  • Sidewalk adjacent to WB parkway between Wetmore and Starcrest
 
TRAFFIC
Relatively light along the completed segments.  Traffic counts have grown substantially over the past decade along the eastern half of the eastern segment while dropping appreciably along the western half of the eastern segment.  It is anticipated that the route will carry 40,000 vehicles a day now that it is completed.

AVERAGE ANNUAL DAILY TRAFFIC
LOCATION 1990 2005 2010 2013 2014 2015 '05-'15
% CHG
Weidner Rd.11,50015,80015,87914,33416,337+42.06%
Perrin-Beitel Rd.18,50029,00019,31616,92619,293+4.29%
Nacogdoches Rd.28,82031,00020,10018,50721,086-26.84%
Wetmore Rd.33,02029,00023,11520,73824,800-24.89%


Construction projects

  • None

Future plans

The section between NW Military and Blanco bisects Hardberger Park and the city has proposed to construct a "land bridge" over the parkway connecting the two sections of the park.

TxDOT and the City of San Antonio are considering additional improvements at the western end of the parkway, particularly at the intersection of NW Military, which sees recurring peak period congestion.  An alternative intersection design is being evaluated.  The city is also looking into possible additional improvements along Wurzbach Road.


History

This route was originally proposed in the late '80s as the aptly-named "East-West Parkway" and was eventually named Wurzbach Parkway because it connects to Wurzbach Road in northwestern San Antonio.  Wurzbach Road is named for William Wurzbach who owned a ranch around what is now I-10 and Wurzbach Road.  He built a road through his property and eventually deeded the road to the county.  Wurzbach also served as a county judge and county attorney. 

The first section of the parkway from Wetmore Rd. to Nacogdoches Rd. was completed in 1996.  The segment from Nacogdoches to O'Connor was completed in September 1999.  The route between Lockhill-Selma and NW Military was completed in late March 2000.  The section between NW Military and Blanco Rd. was completed in July 2002.  Work on the project then stalled due to a lack of funding.

The missing section of the parkway from Wetmore to Blanco and an interchange at US 281 was considered for a possible tollway project; however it was determined in early 2007 that this was not feasible. 

In late 2009, the Texas Transportation Commission allocated funding to complete the missing middle segments.  The first of those segments-- from Blanco to West Ave.-- opened on January 1, 2014, although a pavement issue delayed the opening of the overpass at Blanco until April 2.  The section from Starcrest to Jones-Maltsberger opened in April 2015.  The eastbound lanes from West Ave. to Jones-Maltsberger opened on September 15, 2015, followed by the westbound lanes on September 23, 2015.

After a spate of head-on collisions caused by drivers jumping the raised center island, a concrete center barrier was installed in early 2010 between Wetmore and Weidner.  Sections of the parkway built thereafter included a center barrier instead of raised island.

The original sections of the parkway were designed and posted for a 45 mph speed limit.  After public complaints, a speed study was conducted and the speed limit subsequently raised on the original segments to 60 mph ca. 2000.  When the final segments were opened in 2014 and 2015, they, too, were posted at 45 mph as per design policies.  A speed study conducted shortly after the final section opened supported an increase to 60 mph and signs were changed on November 4th, 2015.



This page and all its contents are Copyright 2016 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.