Work is set to begin today on a long awaited improvement to Loop 1604 on       the city's northwest side, converting the two lanes to four divided lanes between Bandera and Culebra Roads, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  According to the Texas Department of Transportation web site, the project will include  "the upgrading of Loop 1604 in northwest San Antonio from Culebra Road to Bandera Road with the intent to improve safety and mobility, enhance system continuity, and foster economic development."


  The stretch will not be a toll road when the project is done.  It will be built with $82 million from the discretionary TxDOT budget approved by the Legislature.


  The work will be done by contractor Williams Bros. Construction.


  TxDOT says as part of the project, a new four-lane expressway section will be built, as well as new overpasses at Shaenfield Road, New Gilbeau Road and Braun Road, frontage roads, city street connections, and tie-ins to existing Loop 1604.


  The fact that Loop 1604 abruptly goes from a four lane divided expressway to a two lane city street west of Bandera Road has been a barrier to motorists in that area for year.  The 'superstreet' which was installed on Loop 1604 in 2010 has alleviated some of the congestion by eliminating the left turn wait, as has an overpass built on Culebra Road near Taft High School.


  The project will be done in late 2015 or early 2016.