The second $100 million plus highway construction project to begin in the city in the past two months gets underway today on the city’s far northwest side, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
TxDOT’s Josh Donat says the 2 1/2 year project will widen I-10 from just beynd Loop 1604 all the way to Ralph Fair Road.
“Most of the work is going to be done behind barriers, and where we don’t need a lot of closures,” he said.
The plan is to expand the current two lanes in each direction to four lanes, which Donat says will including one HOV or ‘diamond lane.’
“You’re going to have four lanes in each direction, four lanes in and four lanes out,” he said. “One of the new lanes will be a general purpose lane like we have right now, and the second new lane will be an HOV or a transit lane.”
In addition, the project plans to convert all of the frontage roads between Loop 1604 and Ralph Fair Road to one way, which will also involve some widening for shoulders, curbs, and sidewalks. The plan is to eventually make all frontage roads one-way all the way to Boerne, with a goal to eliminate two way frontage roads in built up areas.
Part of that plan includes the construction of the bridge and new exit at Old Fredericksburg Road, which is currently underway, and the widening of the overpass at Fair Oaks Parkway, which was part of a total lane closure that took place over this past weekend.
Donat says the addition of the HOV lanes, which are common in the Houston area, will be a first for San Antonio.“Its kind of the first case for San Antonio to get some HOV lanes, transit lanes, and get a feel for what that’s all about,” he said.
He says the decision on how to manage the HOV lane; including who can use the lanes, and when or if they will be available to general users, will be made not by TxDOT, but by the Metropolitan Planning Organziation.
The entire project will be completed by early 2020.
A similar widening project began earlier this year on US 281 outside Loop 1604. That, too, will involve HOV lanes.
None of the projects which got underway this year involve toll lanes, although some activists worry that HOV lanes can be converted into toll lanes in the future without any public input.