Interstate 35 on the north east side constantly features in WOAI traffic reports, and not in a good way. Now, the Texas Department of Transportation is soliciting public opinion on what should be done to relieve congestion on what is routinely labeled as one of the most congested stretch of roadway in the state, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"From 410 in northeast San Antonio to FM 1103 in Schertz," is what TxDOT's Laura Lopez says is the area under consideration.
That stretch of roadway, along with the stretch of I-35 inside Loop 410, was recently named by Texas A&M researchers as the single most congested stretch of roadway in Bexar County, muscling out such favorites as Loop 1604 and US 281.
But Lopez concedes that just because they're holding public meetings doesn’t mean that there are any plans to actually do anything, at least not right away. She says the money just isn’t there.
"When the time comes and funding becomes available, we can move forward," Lopez said.
She says all options are on the table, including what is know in TxDOT-speak as 'no build,' which essentially means leaving the situation the way it is.
"And then there is the 'built' alternative to add capacity to Interstate 35," she said.
Lopez said new toll lanes on I-35 are one of the options, along with managed lanes, different types of lanes, 'diamond lanes' which would only be used by carpoolers, and upgrading alternative routes to take the pressure off of the existing highway.
No word is in on just when funding might be available. Texas voters in 2014 will consider whether to free up $1 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund to create a fund for transportation improvements.