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Highway 281 Will Expand To Twelve Lanes

Louisa Jonas
Texas Public Radio

Starting in May, Texas Clear Lane Projects will expand U.S. Highway 281 from Loop 1604 to Stone Oak Parkway to relieve traffic. The highway will have a total of twelve lanes, including frontage roads. 


State and city officials gathered along U.S. Highway 281 this morning for a groundbreaking to celebrate the highway’s expansion. Governor Greg Abbott attributed San Antonio’s traffic problems to its growing workforce.

“Today we are literally going to lift a shovel to begin the process of building these roads, and I tell you, we will not put those shovels down until we build the roads our fellow Texans need to get across this state the way they need to,” Governor Abbot said.

Mario Jorge is the District Engineer for Texas Department of Transportation in San Antonio. He says this section of 281 is the most congested area in the city.

Credit Louisa Jonas / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Mario Jorge, District Engineer for Texas Department of Transportation in San Antonio


“With the entire project, with the expressway system, with the HOV lanes, we anticipate that it will have over 600,000 annual hours of savings of delays for our commuters” Jorge said. “And the main thing really for us too is because of the traffic volumes we have in this section and not having a freeway system—an expressway facility—there’s a lot of accidents that happen simply because of all the turning movements.”  

Jorge says during the expansion, traffic will be in the current configuration, which will be least disruptive to the traffic.

The first phase of the project will add non-tolled express lanes between 1604 and Stone Oak Parkway and is expected to be complete in 2020. The second phase starts just north of Stone Oak Parkway and continues to the county line. It is expected to be finished in 2022. The project will cost almost half a billion dollars.