Wurzbach Parkway

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Wurzbach Parkway
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Major junctions
West end: Lockhill-Selma Road in San Antonio
East end: O'Connor Road in San Antonio
Highway system

Wurzbach Parkway is a part freeway and part major arterial road in San Antonio, Texas built to provide relief on Interstate 410 and Loop 1604 on the city's northside. The highway is named for Harry M. Wurzbach, who represented the San Antonio area in Congress as a Republican in the 1920s and 30s. The Congressman's name was first applied to the connecting Wurzbach Road. The highway is in different stages of completion with the eastern third built as a freeway and the western section as an expressway with at-grade intersections. Currently there is a gap in the highway, but there are plans to connect the two segments with an interchange with U.S. Highway 281.[1] The highway, along with part of Wurzbach Road near the Ingram Park Mall, is maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation despite not carrying a state highway designation. Rather, it is being developed and maintained under the Principal Arterial Street System (PASS) program.[2][3] The parkway, currently, does not connect to any other freeways, but drivers can access I-10, US 281, and I-35 via local roads that extend the parkway.

Route description[edit]

The west portion of the parkway is a limited-access surface road that connects Lockhill-Selma Road to West Avenue, crossing Blanco Road (FM 2696) with an interchange, and Military Highway (FM 1535) at-grade. Wurzbach Road continues southwest from Lockhill-Selma Road, crossing I-10 at exit 561. To the east, a second section, built as a freeway, begins at Starcrest Drive and Wetmore Road, on the northeast side of the San Antonio International Airport, and heads east beyond Thousand Oaks Drive. At the east end are several at-grade intersections before the parkway ends at O'Connor Road and Crosswinds Way; O'Connor Road leads southeast to I-35 at exit 169.[4] The area between Blanco Road and Wetmore Road (which includes an interchange with US 281) is currently being constructed.

History[edit]

Planners conceived the parkway in the mid-1980s as the east–west Parkway, an extension of the existing Wurzbach Road, to relieve traffic on I-410. The road, estimated to cost $90 million,[5] was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission in 1988, to be built by the state but funded in part by the city.[6] Construction began in mid-1994 on the section between Wetmore Road and Nacogdoches Road and opened in July 1996.[7] and the eastern portion of the roadway opened on August 26, 1999, allowing traffic to bypass I-410.[8] The west section was opened on July 24, 2002,[9] it's fourth section opened on December 23, 2013, but work has yet to be completed on the connection between these two portions.

Future[edit]

The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) is currently conducting a supplemental environmental assessment on the entire corridor from Lockhill-Selma Road to I-35, emphasizing the segment that has not been constructed. The EA will supplement the EA completed several years ago prior to initial construction.[10] The Alamo RMA is currently considering three alternatives for the interchange with US 281. The first alternative is a Wurzbach Parkway bridge over US 281 with no direct connection between the two highways, but with access via the two highway's frontage roads.[11] The second option includes an elevated roundabout interchange, that will provide direct access between the highways.[12] The final alternative involves main lane to main lane connector ramps from Wurzbach Parkway to US 281 and loop ramps for access from US 281 to Wurzbach Parkway.[13]

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the Texas Transportation Commission reviewed the parkway expansion on Thursday November 19, 2009. The project is proposed to be funded by proceeds from Proposition 12 bonds approved by voters in 2007, a package which will be voted on by commissioners in November. Clay Smith, TxDOT's San Antonio District planning engineer, said the Wurzbach Parkway project would get $126 million under the bond-financing plan, enough for TxDOT to finish the three final segments left on the parkway. The expansion construction will be completed in two phases: the first from Blanco Road to West Avenue and from Jones Maltsberger Road to Wetmore; the second between West Avenue and Jones Maltsberger.[14]

Currently, it is unknown if the parkway will have ramps that would connect directly to I-35 to the east, and no plans for Wurzbach Parkway to extend to I-10 to the west (only allowing drivers to use the Wurzbach Road exit to connect to the parkway).

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in San Antonio, Bexar County. All exits are unnumbered.

Mile km Destinations Notes
Lockhill-Selma Road Western terminus; road continues as Wurzbach Road
FM 1535 (Northwest Military Highway)
FM 2696 (Blanco Road)
West Avenue Current eastern terminus of western segment
Gap in route
Starcrest Drive Current western terminus of eastern segment; west end of current freeway
Wetmore Road
Nacogdoches Road
FM 2252 (Perrin-Beitel Road)
Thousand Oaks Drive
Turnaround Eastbound only
Weidner Road East end of current freeway
O'Connor Road, Crosswinds Way Eastern terminus; road continues as O'Connor Road to I-35
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alamo Regional Mobility Authority - Wurzbach Parkway Corridor
  2. ^ Texas Department of Transportation - Highway Designation File: Principal Arterial State System No. 1502
  3. ^ Texas Department of Transportation, Highway Designations Glossary, accessed September 2007]
  4. ^ Google Maps street maps and satellite imagery, accessed September 2007
  5. ^ Dave Pasley, San Antonio Express-News, S.A. needs more roads, not toll booths, December 21, 2005
  6. ^ Jim Wood, San Antonio Express-News, Wurzbach Parkway work seen in '94 $95 million project to relieve traffic congestion, April 4, 1993, p. 1B
  7. ^ Jim Wood, San Antonio Express-News, State to grant road contract soon - east–west Parkway to extend Starcrest, July 5, 1994, p. 9A
  8. ^ Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, Parkway section to open: Six years, millions needed to complete, August 26, 1999, p. 1B
  9. ^ Patrick Driscoll, San Antonio Express-News, Wurzbach Parkway's third section, opened on July 25, 2002, p. 8B
  10. ^ Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, Wurzbach Parkway Project
  11. ^ Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, Wurzbach Parkway Bridge over US 281 (two levels)
  12. ^ Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, Elevated roundabout interchange (three levels)
  13. ^ Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, Main lane to main lane connectors with loop ramps (three levels)
  14. ^ http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/Final_phases_of_Wurzbach_Parkway_may_begin_summer_2010.html

Coordinates: 29°32′46″N 98°26′09″W / 29.546223°N 98.43576°W / 29.546223; -98.43576