TxDOT, City Seek Input on Proposed US 281 Upgrades

By Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News 

State  and city traffic engineers are soliciting public input on a series  proposed improvements to U.S 281 just inside the Loop 410, WOAI News  reports. 

Four  ideas are on the table, says TxDOT spokesman Hernan Rozemberg, with the  overall focus on relieving congestion on the freeway and easing traffic  entering or exiting on Jones Maltsberger or Basse roads. Discussion, Rozemberg says, is on the initial stages  

“No  funding available yet, which is huge; next steps, if it could be deemed  a priority project in conjunction with the city and the Alamo Area MPO –  Metropolitan Planning Organization – then maybe we would move forward  with other steps,” says Rozemberg. 

At  Thursday evening’s agency open house at Alamo Heights United Methodist  Church, citizens watched a video presentation and discussed each  proposal with TxDot representatives at large map tables. 

One of the four options generated “buzz” among attendees because of its creativity.

 “On Basse, we would have new northbound entrance and southbound exit,  and on Jones Maltsberger we have what is called a “diverted diamond  interchange, a fancy engineering term,” he says.

 A  diverted diamond interchange, also known as a “divergent diamond  interchange” or “double-crossover interchange,” routes two directions of  traffic on a non-freeway road across to the opposite sides of a bridge  at the freeway. Engineers say the design keeps traffic flowing smoothly  and increases safety. 

TxDOT will schedule additional public forums on the idea in the coming weeks, Rozemberg says. While there is no timeline for the proposals, fast-tracking the plan  could lead to project completion in four to five years at a cost  approaching $12 million, he adds.

PHOTO:Citizens and a TxDOT planner pore over one of four aerial  renderings of proposed improvements to US 281 near near Jones  Maltsberger and Basse roads at Thursday evening's freeway improvement  open house at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church. 

Photo by Morgan  Montalvo

Click on the link to see how a divergent diamond interchange works: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnukMEsezJU

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