10 lanes, 5-lane stacked interchange. TxDOT has big plans for Loop 1604
‘It’s one of the most congested corridors in the state,’ TxDOT says.
With columns going up and lane closures being scheduled, the new system of flyover highways at I-10 and Loop 1604 can seem intimidating. However, officials from the Texas Department of Transportation say the $1.4 billion projects, which include the loop and the expansion of 1604 to a ten-lane highway, are expected to decrease congestion along the busy thoroughfare by 76%.
New things can be scary sometimes, and Texans aren’t necessarily known for loving change when it comes to things we already know and love — like the four-leaf clover design of the Loop 1604 and I-10 interchange. However, it’s a new day, and moving into the new year that section of 1604 is going to start looking a whole lot different.
“It’s one of the most congested corridors in the state,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Jennifer Serold told MySA. “Over the next 20 to 25 years, the amount of daily drivers is expected to double. So, this expansion project is to prepare for future growth but also to give benefits to drivers in the next few years … It’s bringing a lot of congestion relief to drivers by giving them more lanes to travel on. And then, of course, when you reduce congestion, you increase safety for the drivers.”
The 23-mile-long Loop 1604 North project is well underway heading into 2024 with portions of the highway already seeing wider sections of highway and revamped entrance and exit ramps. The first phase of the project — the stretch of 1604 from Bandera Road to I-10 — is 67% complete and is slated for an early 2025 finish.
However, even though you can see the progress of the second phase, or the overhaul of the 1604 and I-10 interchange, that massive project is set to be done by 2027. So, buckle up San Antonio drivers, it’s going to be a long haul.Serold said drivers can start to expect a lot of activity at the interchange moving into the next year as construction workers make headway on the massive revamp of the heavily utilized section of highway. Serold described the reworking of the interchange with flyover lanes as something quite innovative for TxDOT, saying there aren’t really any examples to look at as a comparison. However, she said the flyover lanes will create a much quicker, direct path for drivers interacting with the interchange, removing the decades-long need to essentially make a U-turn in one of the leaves of the 1604 clover to change highways.
“We just ask for patience and understanding,” Serold said. “But it’s going to be a really big benefit once it’s complete. And that first segment on the Northwest Side, it’s going to be complete late next year or early 2025, so we’re almost there.”
The expansion of 1604 doesn’t stop at the interchange from I-10. The highway will be widened to have five lanes of traffic, including a high-occupancy vehicle lane, headed in either direction from Bandera Road all the way to the I-35 interchange — a 23-mile stretch of widened highways— to alleviate growing traffic woes along the major thoroughfare. The stretch of highway from I-10 to U.S. 281, known as phase 3 of the massive project, is underway currently, but the final stretch of expansion from 281 to I-35 is yet to be funded by the state agency.