Thursday, August 16, 2012

Update on Wurzbach Parkway

We anxiously await the opening of the various new sections of Wurzbach Parkway. Living at the corner of Wurzbach and NW Military (more or less), these extensions will make getting around the northside a heck of a lot easier.
I see the progress of the Blanco-to-West section nearly daily. The good news: this section will be finished by the end of the year! They’re installing visual barriers right now (see photo at left), so headlights will be restricted to the roadway, and drivers won’t be able to peep into the windows of neighboring apartments. As it is, some residents of the Las Brisas and Cape Cod apartments could stand on their balconies and throw rocks at the construction workers. The noise must be maddening. Can you imagine having to listen daily (hourly) to the beep-beep-beep of heavy vehicles in reverse?

West Avenue (between Nakoma and Bitters) should reopen by Halloween. Surprisingly, the closure didn’t result from installation of the overpass. Instead, they’re installing a raised section over Panther Creek (which overruns the road in even a small rainstorm); the overpass comes later and will not require such a drastic closure.
Wurzbach at the West closure
And a big road-closure heads-up: the northbound feeder of US 281 will close the weekend of August 24. In combination with the West closure, I would just plain avoid this section of town. It promises to be a complete mess.

If you want to stay up-to-date on progress, Josh Donat ( of the local TxDOT office publishes a weekly newsletter. Just send him at email, and let him know you’d like to subscribe. You can also follow them on Twitter @TxDOTSanAntonio. (Sorry about the funny formatting of the email; spam prevention.)
Drag racing worries us the most. Even now, with just the section of NW Military to Blanco complete, we can sit out on our back porch and hear the roar of engines zooming down the street. In the eight years (or so) that the section has been open, the slight left-hand bend down toward Blanco has already claimed three lives (in three separate instances, they all missed the curve and hit a tree at high speed). When extensive sections open, the problem will only worsen. A parkway provides limited places for police cars to lay in wait. I hope they can find a solution.
Wurzbach from Vista del Norte
For those of you interested in details and plans, you can find them on the Texas Department of Safety website.
Compared to my hometown of Houston, getting around San Antonio is a relative breeze. But Wurzbach will make things even easier.

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