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San Antonio Area Freeway System
PROJECT INFO: US 281 at Basse Rd.

This page last updated February 21, 2024

Engineer

This project is currently in design


The descriptions below are based on preliminary schematics and, as a result, details may change before the project goes to construction. This page will be updated when final schematics for the project are available.


Location
  • US 281 at Basse Rd.

Status
  • Advanced planning

Timeline
  • Construction is not yet scheduled. As of this writing, it is listed to possibly start in 2032 and would take about a year to complete..


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On this page:


Project description

This approximately $7 million project will make improvements to the US 281/Basse Road interchange. The existing cloverleaf ramps from westbound Basse to southbound US 281 and from northbound US 281 to westbound Basse will be removed. They will be replaced with an exit ramp from southbound US 281 and an entrance ramp to northbound US 281. The existing entrance ramp to southbound US 281 from eastbound Basse will be re-aligned to provide access from both directions of Basse via a new signalized intersection. Another new signalized intersection at the remaining existing northbound exit ramp will facilitate left turns onto westbound Basse from US 281.

Motorists wanting to enter northbound US 281 from eastbound Basse will utilize a displaced left-turn (DLT) lane. This means that traffic making that turn will cross over to the other side of Basse Road well in advance of the location of the entrance ramp (in this case, the crossover will be at the location of the southbound entrance ramp.) The crossover will be signalized. They will then travel in a median-separated contraflow lane to the left of westbound Basse traffic, pass through the intersection with the new southbound exit ramp, continue under US 281, and directly enter the new northbound entrance ramp. (If that sounds confusing, see the diagram and schematic below to better understand it.)

The partial-DLT configuration will also slightly change how traffic from the new southbound exit ramp turns right onto westbound Basse. Instead of turning directly onto the Basse mainlanes at the intersection, they will instead travel a short distance in a barrier-separated lane alongside the contraflow lane described above, then merge into Basse Road. This allows that traffic to avoid all conflicts in the interchange. (Again, see the diagram below for clarification.)

A companion project is planned at the Jones-Maltsberger interchange.

Traffic flow schematic

Traffic flow for eastbound Basse to northbound US 281 and southbound US 281 to westbound Basse
Eastbound Basse to northbound US 281 is shown in red, and southbound US 281 to westbound Basse is shown in yellow. The black arrows are the regular mainlane traffic flow on Basse.
(Underlying schematic from TxDOT; annotations added by Brian Purcell)


How this project will help

Adding the new exit and entrance ramps will allow traffic that currently has to use the Jones-Maltsberger Rd. interchange in order to reach Basse Rd. to instead use this interchange. This should help to reduce congestion at the Jones-Maltsberger interchange as well as on Jones-Maltsberger and Basse in the vicinity of the Alamo Quarry Market.

Using the partial-DLT configuration will help this intersection operate more efficiently for the long-term. Shifting that left-turning traffic out of the way of opposing traffic reduces the number of signal phases required, thus allowing the intersection to move more traffic per signal cycle. Since it is anticipated that the westbound Basse to southbound US 281 movement will be quite heavy (i.e. traffic coming from Alamo Quarry), shifting the opposing left turn movement out of the way will provide an significant improvement over what a conventional intersection at this location could facilitate.

DLT

For a deeper dive on how a DLT functions and how it improves traffic flow, see the Bandera Rd./Loop 1604 DLT page.


FAQ


Schematic

Click on the image below to open the detailed preliminary schematics 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 thumbnail

Click the image above for a full-sized schematic of this project


Video

TxDOT has a good video that describes this project:





Other sites of interest

TxDOT - Open House - US 281 at Basse Road and Jones Maltsberger Road Interchanges
https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/get-involved/about/hearings-meetings/san-antonio/101818.html