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Author Topic: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio  (Read 10695 times)

ethanhopkin14

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2021, 12:25:38 PM »

I had never significantly been to San Antonio before this weekend. It was a different experience for Texas freeways.  Cloverleafs were the norm back when and many of them are still in use, particularly in downtown. It does appear that they are replacing them all over town with the more common (in Texas) flyovers. The replacements , though, are part of upgrades that go beyond the intersections, particularly adding lanes.

The thing that struck me as strangest in San Antonio was the stretch of 2X2 on I-410 in the southeast side of town.

There aren't cloverleafs downtown, unless you count the one at the eastern junction of I-10 and I-410.  Two of them are what I call upside-down stacks.  The south I-35 and I-10 interchange and the I-37 and I-10 interchange
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achilles765

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2021, 11:08:00 PM »

I remember how surprised I was to find the southern 35/410 interchange to be a simple cloverleaf.

Back when the southern I-35/410 interchange was built, that area was mainly rural but now the urban sprawl had beginned to reach up that area.

No San Antonio native but did spend twelve weeks at Ft. Sam Houston 25 years ago.  The 410 loop is pretty far in, at least by today's standards.  More of an inner loop.  In hindsight perhaps it should been built farther out.  It was probably all farmland in 1960, meaning 410's routing.

1604, once fully built out...will be the “outer loop”

C.W. Anderson Loop.  Yes it should have been "built" out by now, and had a 3di shield slapped on it I-810.    The northern section, just south of Camp Bullis has been limited access for close to twenty five to thirty years.   What is the delay on the rest of it?  Especially with all the funds the tex-dot has.   

I would much rather see it be like I-235 or I-637.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2021, 03:06:18 PM »

I remember how surprised I was to find the southern 35/410 interchange to be a simple cloverleaf.

Back when the southern I-35/410 interchange was built, that area was mainly rural but now the urban sprawl had beginned to reach up that area.

No San Antonio native but did spend twelve weeks at Ft. Sam Houston 25 years ago.  The 410 loop is pretty far in, at least by today's standards.  More of an inner loop.  In hindsight perhaps it should been built farther out.  It was probably all farmland in 1960, meaning 410's routing.

1604, once fully built out...will be the “outer loop”

C.W. Anderson Loop.  Yes it should have been "built" out by now, and had a 3di shield slapped on it I-810.    The northern section, just south of Camp Bullis has been limited access for close to twenty five to thirty years.   What is the delay on the rest of it?  Especially with all the funds the tex-dot has.   

I would much rather see it be like I-235 or I-637.

I-235 is for the current SH-45 when if becomes a full loop around Austin.
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sprjus4

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2021, 03:49:14 PM »

This topic is definitely veering into fictional territory… but if I had a pick for Loop 1604, as much as using an I-x35 would make more sense given the inner loop is an I-x10, I feel the outer loop is also deserving a I-x10 as well, given it serves as a bypass / outer route for I-10 through traffic, at least the portions that are freeway already.
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achilles765

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2021, 01:25:48 PM »

This topic is definitely veering into fictional territory… but if I had a pick for Loop 1604, as much as using an I-x35 would make more sense given the inner loop is an I-x10, I feel the outer loop is also deserving a I-x10 as well, given it serves as a bypass / outer route for I-10 through traffic, at least the portions that are freeway already.

I really actually would prefer to see it be an x37 honestly. Interstate 837.  I sincerely doubt I 37 will ever be extended north of San Antonio, but there is always a possibility of other x37 routes down around Corpus Christi, so 837 would fit.

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achilles765

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2021, 01:27:12 PM »

I remember how surprised I was to find the southern 35/410 interchange to be a simple cloverleaf.

Back when the southern I-35/410 interchange was built, that area was mainly rural but now the urban sprawl had beginned to reach up that area.

No San Antonio native but did spend twelve weeks at Ft. Sam Houston 25 years ago.  The 410 loop is pretty far in, at least by today's standards.  More of an inner loop.  In hindsight perhaps it should been built farther out.  It was probably all farmland in 1960, meaning 410's routing.

1604, once fully built out...will be the “outer loop”

C.W. Anderson Loop.  Yes it should have been "built" out by now, and had a 3di shield slapped on it I-810.    The northern section, just south of Camp Bullis has been limited access for close to twenty five to thirty years.   What is the delay on the rest of it?  Especially with all the funds the tex-dot has.   

I would much rather see it be like I-235 or I-637.

I-235 is for the current SH-45 when if becomes a full loop around Austin.

Wouldn't it make more sense for that to be I-435? I-235 should be SH 130...
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Bobby5280

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2021, 01:37:25 PM »

If toll roads like TX-130 or TX-44 and freeways like FM-1604 were ever going to be re-named as Interstate highways that would have already happened by now. I think chances are next to nothing for those super highways to ever carry Interstate route designations in the future. The same goes for various state-route freeways and toll roads in the DFW and Houston areas. I would even go so far to include the loop highways around Amarillo and Lubbock. It would make visual sense on a map for those routes to have Interstate shields. But Texas clearly doesn't want to do anything like that.
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Thegeet

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2021, 02:40:28 PM »

If toll roads like TX-130 or TX-44 and freeways like FM-1604 were ever going to be re-named as Interstate highways that would have already happened by now. I think chances are next to nothing for those super highways to ever carry Interstate route designations in the future. The same goes for various state-route freeways and toll roads in the DFW and Houston areas. I would even go so far to include the loop highways around Amarillo and Lubbock. It would make visual sense on a map for those routes to have Interstate shields. But Texas clearly doesn't want to do anything like that.
44 isn’t a toll road.
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bwana39

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2021, 04:47:37 PM »

If toll roads like TX-130 or TX-44 and freeways like FM-1604 were ever going to be re-named as Interstate highways that would have already happened by now. I think chances are next to nothing for those super highways to ever carry Interstate route designations in the future. The same goes for various state-route freeways and toll roads in the DFW and Houston areas. I would even go so far to include the loop highways around Amarillo and Lubbock. It would make visual sense on a map for those routes to have Interstate shields. But Texas clearly doesn't want to do anything like that.

The point I have tried to make on here for a couple of years minimum. The only reason ANY road in Texas has been labeled as an interstate is because of either edicts or restricted funding from Washington DC.  If Texas were some states we would have run out of IH and 3DI numbers decades ago. Some people think there is something patently less about a road without an Interstate shield. The bottom line is it is just branding.

I was between jobs years ago, I worked in a plant that manufactured composite fireplace logs. The highest quality requirement was for the ones branded for a major US grocery chain. The name brand ones were in the middle quality wise. Just like the fireplace logs, having the better brand name on a highway does not necessarily mean it is better or even as good as one with a lesser moniker.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2021, 12:40:03 PM »

If toll roads like TX-130 or TX-44 and freeways like FM-1604 were ever going to be re-named as Interstate highways that would have already happened by now. I think chances are next to nothing for those super highways to ever carry Interstate route designations in the future. The same goes for various state-route freeways and toll roads in the DFW and Houston areas. I would even go so far to include the loop highways around Amarillo and Lubbock. It would make visual sense on a map for those routes to have Interstate shields. But Texas clearly doesn't want to do anything like that.

The point I have tried to make on here for a couple of years minimum. The only reason ANY road in Texas has been labeled as an interstate is because of either edicts or restricted funding from Washington DC.  If Texas were some states we would have run out of IH and 3DI numbers decades ago. Some people think there is something patently less about a road without an Interstate shield. The bottom line is it is just branding.

I was between jobs years ago, I worked in a plant that manufactured composite fireplace logs. The highest quality requirement was for the ones branded for a major US grocery chain. The name brand ones were in the middle quality wise. Just like the fireplace logs, having the better brand name on a highway does not necessarily mean it is better or even as good as one with a lesser moniker.

I never thought it would make a better freeway than ones Texas makes without interstate designations.  The one thing that the shield guarantees is Texas can't get cheep on it.  Texas can't do what they always do and have 3-4 miles of freeway, then have a 2 mile stretch of "freeway" where they allow a few at-grade intersections before the freeway picks back up again.  Having an interstate designation guarantees Texas can't do it half-assed.  Yes, the lay-driver does see the interstate shield and knows it is a freeway for several hundred miles and they also know a US or state highway is bound to flux between freeway and crap road. It can be very frustrating driving on Texas roads for exactly that. 


I have thought about your first point before.  If Texas was more like Arkansas or Louisiana (putting interstate shields on almost every freeway) I think I-10 and I-20 both would have a complete set of 3dis throughout Texas.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2021, 04:33:57 PM »

Quote from: Thegeet
44 isn’t a toll road.

That was a typo. Given the context was Austin, I meant TX-45. And that is indeed a toll road.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Having an interstate designation guarantees Texas can't do it half-assed.

I-35E going North of Dallas with its narrow 11' wide lanes says hello.
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kphoger

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2021, 04:41:59 PM »

I never thought it would make a better freeway than ones Texas makes without interstate designations.  The one thing that the shield guarantees is Texas can't get cheep on it.  Texas can't do what they always do and have 3-4 miles of freeway, then have a 2 mile stretch of "freeway" where they allow a few at-grade intersections before the freeway picks back up again.  Having an interstate designation guarantees Texas can't do it half-assed.  Yes, the lay-driver does see the interstate shield and knows it is a freeway for several hundred miles and they also know a US or state highway is bound to flux between freeway and crap road. It can be very frustrating driving on Texas roads for exactly that. 

Frustrating?  I find it refreshing.

Just six weeks ago, I drove with my family and my parents down to Galveston and back.  The only non-Interstate highway (other than the PGBT around Dallas and Beltway 8 around Houston) that we used was US-287 between Ennis and Waxahachie (both directions)—a highway that's a mix of freeway and expressway.  Guess what was the only highway of the entire trip that my mom mentioned being pleasant to drive on?  Yep, US-287!

Everyone on our mission trips to Mexico who has done both the I-35 route through Laredo and the US-277 route through Del Rio agrees that I-35 is more frustrating and US-277 is more laid-back.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 09:20:05 AM by kphoger »
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2021, 04:48:26 PM »

Quote from: Thegeet
44 isn’t a toll road.

That was a typo. Given the context was Austin, I meant TX-45. And that is indeed a toll road.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Having an interstate designation guarantees Texas can't do it half-assed.

I-35E going North of Dallas with its narrow 11' wide lanes says hello.

Mostly
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Rothman

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #38 on: August 16, 2021, 10:16:06 PM »

Quote from: Thegeet
44 isn’t a toll road.

That was a typo. Given the context was Austin, I meant TX-45. And that is indeed a toll road.

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Having an interstate designation guarantees Texas can't do it half-assed.

I-35E going North of Dallas with its narrow 11' wide lanes says hello.

Mostly

They mostly come out at night.  Mostly.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2021, 10:56:50 PM »

Quote from: ethanhopkin14
Mostly

On the bright side, in the case of I-35E between Dallas and Denton, the 11' wide lanes thing will be fixed once the next big phase of that expansion project is complete. I'll do my best to avoid that road until then however.

The downside is TX DOT has seemed to warm up to using those narrow lanes on other project designs. Some could end up being permanent.

The New Urbanist types like to sell people on narrow lanes (along with "road diets") as a traffic calming measure. I don't think there is anything calming at all about feeling like you're just a twitch of the steering wheel away from trading paint with vehicles in adjacent lanes. Narrow lanes or not, people in Dallas don't tend to slow down.

Quote from: kphoger
The only non-Interstate highway (other than the PGBT around Dallas and Beltway 8 around Houston) that we used was US-287 between Ennis and Waxahachie (both directions)—a highway that's a mix of freeway and expressway.  Guess what was the only highway of the entire trip that my mom mentioned being pleasant to drive on?  Yep, US-287!

You guys must have gone through that stretch of US-287 at an off-peak time or something to find it "pleasant." I dislike all the at-grade intersections and driveways on US-287 starting at Heritage Parkway going down to Ennis. It's critical to be on the look-out for cars entering and leaving the highway. Not all the intersections have dedicated turn lanes. And vehicles entering US-287 don't have any kind of an entrance ramp. Someone driving like he is on an Interstate can suddenly be up on other vehicles not moving much faster than a dead stop.

A couple freeway construction projects along the way will eliminate the last couple traffic signals in that area once they're complete. Until then intersections with US-287, such as the Plainview Rd/Walnut Grove Rd intersection will be a major source of traffic tie-ups.

I personally want US-287 made 100% Interstate quality from the I-45 junction in Ennis up to at least US-380 in Decatur, including a freeway upgrade THRU Decatur. TX DOT needs to get that done ASAP. Then they can work on US-287 between Decatur and Alford. Then there's the leg to connect to the existing freeway in Bowie. The farther West it goes the easier US-287 is to upgrade. Bypasses around Chillicothe, Quanah, Childress, Memphis, Clarendon and Claude could be tricky though. But TX DOT was able to do some similar bypasses along US-277 between Wichita Falls and Abilene.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2021, 07:16:11 PM »

I never thought it would make a better freeway than ones Texas makes without interstate designations.  The one thing that the shield guarantees is Texas can't get cheep on it.  Texas can't do what they always do and have 3-4 miles of freeway, then have a 2 mile stretch of "freeway" where they allow a few at-grade intersections before the freeway picks back up again.  Having an interstate designation guarantees Texas can't do it half-assed.  Yes, the lay-driver does see the interstate shield and knows it is a freeway for several hundred miles and they also know a US or state highway is bound to flux between freeway and crap road. It can be very frustrating driving on Texas roads for exactly that. 

Frustrating?  I find it refreshing.

Just six weeks ago, I drove with my family and my parents down to Galveston and back.  The only non-Interstate highway (other than the PGBT around Dallas and Beltway 8 around Houston) that we used was US-287 between Ennis and Waxahachie (both directions)—a highway that's a mix of freeway and expressway.  Guess what was the only highway of the entire trip that my mom mentioned being pleasant to drive on?  Yep, US-287!

Everyone on our mission trips to Mexico who has done both the I-35 route through Laredo and the US-277 route through Del Rio agrees that I-35 is more frustrating and US-277 is more laid-back.

I will agree only with the caveat of this:  Almost all the NFL games today are very close in score.  30 to 40 years ago, it was not uncommon to have a blow out.  What happens is this, most novice, or even decent football fans look at the close games of today and say they are exciting.  The truth is, the parity and watered down talent makes the games close, but the honest truth is, there is some really bad football being played.  Those old NFL games with one team absolute killing the other was just pure domination of a really good football team, and hate to break it to the public, but domination is what the sport of football is about.  So the reality is, those old boring blowouts were actually what football is supposed to look like and these new close games are really just two bad teams that can't figure out how to win (or one trying to lose and the other won't let them).

All this to say, yes, I-35 is more stressful, but only because it has more traffic.  At least with all that traffic I don't have to worry about someone pulling in front of me from a driveway, side road, or deal with blind hills and curves on top of that traffic.  I guess the point is, the masses look at I-35 and say, Ooo, bad.  They look at some country 4-laner and say Ooo, good.  The reality to that is, its actually the opposite.  There are more safety features built in to I-35 than those crap U.S. highways.  Like the perception above, yeah its more exciting and fun to drive, as long as no one is on the road.  I-35 may have a lot of traffic, but any great highway will have the most traffic.  That's kinda the trade off. 
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DJStephens

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2021, 12:10:56 PM »

On the bright side, in the case of I-35E between Dallas and Denton, the 11' wide lanes thing will be fixed once the next big phase of that expansion project is complete. I'll do my best to avoid that road until then however.

The downside is TX DOT has seemed to warm up to using those narrow lanes on other project designs. Some could end up being permanent.

The New Urbanist types like to sell people on narrow lanes (along with "road diets") as a traffic calming measure. I don't think there is anything calming at all about feeling like you're just a twitch of the steering wheel away from trading paint with vehicles in adjacent lanes. Narrow lanes or not, people in Dallas don't tend to slow down.

El Paso District also says hello.  Quickie "widening" of I-10 on the E side of El Paso, decades overdue, was done by eliminating the L inside breakdown lane.  Suspect lanes are also 11 feet wide there, as well.  The quality and features of earlier late eighties/early nineties four lane upgrades that ended at McRae Blvd should have been extended E.   Back then, there was more emphasis of proper design, and not frills.   
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 01:04:40 PM by DJStephens »
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sprjus4

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2021, 12:27:58 PM »

^ I believe the ongoing (badly needed) widening of Loop 1604 in northern San Antonio from 4 to 10 lanes will involve reducing the lane widths from 12’ to 11’ in some areas in order to fit within the existing footprint as much as possible.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2021, 02:08:30 PM »

The downside is TX DOT has seemed to warm up to using those narrow lanes on other project designs. Some could end up being permanent.
Not sure if this is new or has been in practice for awhile but it seems Caltrans has several proposals for reducing certain inner lanes to 11’ in order to add more lanes(usually HOT) while keeping one or two outer lanes 12’. I’m not happy about that.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2021, 01:17:36 AM »

With the sheer amount of inattentive or distracted driving taking place these days, skinny lanes are a very very bad idea.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2021, 08:07:54 PM »

Texas highway man posted this clip showing the new ramp going from TX-151 eastbound to I-410 southbound at the upcoming stack of TX-151/I-410.
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sprjus4

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2021, 08:31:25 PM »

^ This interchange messed me up before... before this new flyover opened, the overhead pull through signage said "I-410 North" then "I-410" without a directional, which made it seem like it went both... that turned out to not be the case. At least, until now.
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thisdj78

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2021, 08:45:26 PM »

Is Alamo Ranch Pkwy planned to be a freeway west of 1604 in the future? I’ve always wondered about the wide medians there.
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Bobby5280

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2021, 08:13:24 PM »

They deliberately built-in the possibility for a future freeway by making the Alamo Ranch Parkway median as wide as it is. There is a great deal of retail and housing development activity in that area. Securing a freeway-sized median in a main surface arterial street is a good way to stay ahead of growth. I would kind of expect them to extend the Alamo Ranch Parkway surface street (and its big median) farther West to Talley Road.
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sprjus4

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Re: The flyover fairy finally blesses San Antonio
« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2021, 08:33:01 PM »

The roadway that truly needs a freeway upgrade more than Alamo Ranch would be SH-16 between I-410 and Loop 1604. Obviously, however, right of way constraints make that a challenge. TxDOT, IIRC, is studying some improvements to the corridor though, including potential overpasses and elimination of some signals.
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