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San Antonio's share of massive state transportation plan released

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A groundbreaking ceremony on the I-35 double decker project was held in May at I-35 and Loop 410 on the Northeast Side

San Antonio's share of a newly adopted $85 billion statewide transportation plan is around $5.1 billion, according to the governor's office.

The funding under the Texas Department of Transportation's Unified Transportation Plan or UTP for the next 10 years will pay for projects to relieve traffic congestion on I-35, Loops 410 and 1604, and U.S. 90.

“The UTP reflects a continued focus on improving transportation safety as the top priority, maintaining our current system, addressing traffic congestion, and improving statewide connectivity over the next decade,” said TxDOT Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. “Additionally, we are making significant progress in addressing congestion in our busiest parts of the state through our Texas Clear Lanes initiative, which improves top chokepoints in our largest metro areas.”

Massive expansion plans are already underway on Loop 1604 through the North and Northwest Sides and to turn I-35 into a double decker freeway through far Northeast San Antonio.

1604 will be expanded for 23 miles between Bandera Road and I-35 from four lanes to 10 lanes, with the addition of two general purpose lanes. There will also be one HOV lane in each direction and reconfigured auxiliary lanes and entrance and exit lanes. The first segment of the project between Bandera Road and I-10 should be completed in 2024.

From now and through 2027, an upper level with three lanes in each direction will sprout up above the lower lanes of I-35 between Loop 410 and FM 3009 in northern Bexar and southern Guadalupe, and Comal counties.

The double decker project also includes high-occupancy vehicle lanes and flyovers from I-35 to Loop 410 North and Loop 1604 West. The nearly 10-mile freeway construction cuts through several cities, including San Antonio, Live Oak, Selma and Schertz.

Many of the projects found in the 2023 Unified Transportation Plan involve 100 roadways identified as the most congested or very important to connectivity within the state.

The funding will come from legislative, and voter approved initiatives that allocate some oil and gas taxes, sales taxes, and other money to the state highway fund.

The $5.1 billion is about 6% of the total statewide allocation, which critics may find low for one of the fastest growing cities in the state and nation in recent years. But the state does have to maintain 80,000 miles of roads.

The $85 billion spread out over ten years is expected to return $15.5 billion per year in economic benefits and create 58,550 direct and indirect jobs, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian