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Widening I-10 to San Antonio

Like, all the way.

The roughly 200-mile stretch of Interstate 10 from San Antonio to Houston could become more spacious, as the Texas Department of Transportation has raised the idea of adding a third lane to the highway in each direction.

An expansion of I-10 between San Antonio and Houston would be the latest effort to widen the triangle of roads that link the state’s largest cities, Clayton Ripps, TxDOT’s advanced transportation planning director for the San Antonio district, told the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization recently. New lanes are planned or are already under construction on parts of Interstate 35 that connect San Antonio, Austin and Dallas and on Interstate 45 between Houston and Dallas.

The I-10 project is in the early phases of development, and an environmental review process is just getting underway, TxDOT officials said. Funding for most of the construction has not been identified, but the work likely will be divided into sections, with some stretches being worked on before others, according to Ripps.

[…]

As census data released last month attested, the areas along I-35 between Austin and San Antonio are some of the fastest-growing in the country. That growth combined with more people in the state overall — Texas added more people than any state from 2013 to 2014 — mean a higher demand on the highways.

“It’s been a gradual increase, but it seems like it has increased quite a bit over the past year or two,” Guadalupe County Judge Kyle Kutscher said about traffic on I-10. “It’s been pretty consistent with the growth we’ve seen in the county and the region.”

Kutscher said he had not seen the additional traffic lead to major problems other than slower travel times.

TxDOT measures daily traffic flows in multiple spots along I-10, and the data generally reflect the increase in vehicles on the highway. In 2010, for example, an average of 33,000 vehicles traveled on I-10 every day at a spot near Seguin. In 2013 at the same place, the average was 36,324.

Gotta say, the last couple of times we’ve driven westward on I-10, things bogged down to a crawl as we reached Brookshire, where it slims down to two lanes. It eventually sped back up to highway velocity, but it took awhile. It was crowded on the way back in the same area as well. I can see the justification for this, but I have to wonder what the price tag might look like. On the plus side, there should be little to no need to take property via eminent domain, and what property does need to be taken should be mostly unimproved rural land, so it would be cheap. On the other hand, we’re talking well over 100 miles of construction. That’s a lot of material and labor. Let’s see what the initial cost (under)estimate will be, and we can go from there. The Chron has more.

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One Comment

  1. Joel says:

    by the time they get it done, they’ll need a fourth lane. austin to san antonio is three or more lanes the whole way, and it still gets clogged.

    man, i wish we had high speed rail.