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Wurzbach Pkwy San Antonio Area Freeway System
Wurzbach Parkway

This page last updated May 20, 2019

Wurzbach Pkwy highlight map This page covers the Wurzbach Parkway in North San Antonio.

Length: 12 miles


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On this page

Overview
 
Roadway
details
Exits Speed
limits
Special features
& notes
         
Traffic
 
Media gallery
Construction
projects
Future
plans
History
         

Overview

There are no true east-west arterials between Loop 410 and Loop 1604 in North San Antonio. As a result, Loop 410, Loop 1604, and many of the zig-zagged arterials in the area are overburdened trying to facilitate east-west traffic. The Wurzbach Parkway is an east-west "super-arterial" across northern San Antonio connecting I-10 to I-35. It was intended to help reduce the load on both loops as well as arterials in the vicinity by facilitating many of the shorter east-west trips across the North Side, although it can and is often used for longer journeys.

The parkway was developed under the now-retired Principal Arterial Street System (PASS) program and carries a TxDOT route number of PA-1502. Prior to 2014, this route number was not signed, but has since been. (Technically, the "PA" in the route number is short for Principal Arterial, not Parkway, although that works, too.)

The route passes through a variety of urban land uses. The eastern end of the route passes through a light commercial and industrial area before entering the former Longhorn Quarry, which was redeveloped as an entertainment area with an amusement park, high school football stadium, and soccer complex including the home stadium for San Antonio's professional team. The parkway then passes through the commercial, residential, and light industrial areas around Perrin-Beitel and Nacogdoches Roads before passing over an active quarry near Wetmore Rd. Continuing west, the parkway passes through mostly undeveloped land near the airport before passing into a light industrial and commercial area. Approaching US 281, the parkway passes over the wooded Salado Creek bed for a short distance. West of US 281, the route continues through a mostly undeveloped area before passing over a flood control basin. Near Blanco, the route traverses residential areas before bisecting Hardberger Park. Commercial and residential development line the route at the far western end where it merges into the pre-existing Wurzbach Road.


Roadway details

The parkway features four and six lanes with a concrete divider. (Along the original sections, a raised island separated the opposing flows; the concrete divider was added atop the island after a series of head-on crashes.) There are no continuous access roads along most of the route. Connections to local streets and driveways is limited and there are overpasses at most major intersections. While it has the general appearance and function of a narrow freeway, the route is technically classified as a "super-arterial" rather than a freeway and, as such, the road is technically a hybrid between a major arterial street and expressway.

The parkway has overpasses and interchanges at Blanco Rd., West Ave., US 281, Jones-Maltsberger Rd., Starcrest Dr., Wetmore Rd., Nacogdoches Rd., Perrin-Beitel Rd., and Thousand Oaks Dr.  The interchange at Wetmore Rd. is a partial cloverleaf while the others are traditional diamonds. There is a short stretch of frontage road in both directions between US 281 and West Ave. There are several "right-on, right-off" intersections along the route: eastbound at Alon Loop, Alon Market (2), Barshop Jewish Community Center, Vista Del Norte Dr., Bitters Recycling Center, Heros Stadium/Tool Yard, and Tech Com Dr.; and westbound at Heros Stadium, McAllister Park, Vista Del Norte Dr., Blufffton Oaks, and Inverness Blvd.

While most of the parkway is controlled-access, the eastern and western ends each have two at-grade, signalized intersections; these are intended to provide a controlled transition from quasi-freeway to the signalized surface roadways that the parkway connects to on either end. At the far eastern end, the parkway crosses Weidner at a signalized, at-grade intersection and terminates at a signalized intersection where it merges with the pre-existing O'Connor Road. Through traffic can then continue east on O'Connor the short distance to I-35. The western end meets NW Military Hwy. and Lockhill-Selma Rd. at signalized, at-grade intersections before tying-into the pre-existing Wurzbach Rd.  where through traffic can continue west to I-10 and beyond. Improvements were made to that section of Wurzbach to support the anticipated increases in traffic from the completed parkway and additional improvements are being considered.

Most of the parkway has a designated bike lane in each direction. The section between Lockhill-Selma Rd. and NW Military Dr. has a landscaped and lighted pedestrian trail in the median, and part of the Salado Creek Greenway passes under or alongside of the parkway between US 281 and Starcrest. There are several noise-abatement walls along the route.

There are currently no direct connectors to US 281. Instead, traffic destined to US 281 exits the parkway and uses the US 281 access roads. Traffic wanting to make a "left turn" from the parkway onto US 281 proceeds right onto the US 281 access road, then makes a U-turn at the next downstream turnaround (at Bitters or Nakoma.) Initial plans considered two possible interchange designs including an elevated roundabout or a mixed flyover and cloverleaf interchange, but funding limitations, traffic projections, and additional restrictions caused by the proximity to San Antonio International Airport's runways caused those plans to be shelved. TxDOT has indicated they may study them again if future traffic volumes warrant.

EXITS


EASTBOUND
(from Lockhill-Selma):

  • Alon Loop (at-grade turn-off)
  • Alon Market driveways (two at-grade turn-offs)
  • FM 1535/NW Military Hwy (at-grade signalized intersection)
  • Barshop Jewish Community Center (at-grade turn-off)
  • FM 2696/Blanco Rd 
  • Vista Del Norte Dr (at-grade turn-off)
  • West Ave
  • US 281
  • Jones-Maltsberger Rd
  • Bitters Recycling Center (at-grade turn-off)
  • Starcrest Dr
  • Wetmore Rd
  • Nacogdoches Rd
  • FM 2252/Perrin-Beitel Rd
  • Heros Stadium/Tool Yard (at-grade turn-off)
  • Thousand Oaks Dr
  • Turnaround
  • Weidner Rd (at-grade signalized intersection)
  • Tech Com Dr (at-grade turn-off)
  • Parkway ends at O'Connor Rd/Crosswinds Way (at-grade signalized intersection)

WESTBOUND (from O'Connor/Crosswinds):

  • Weidner Rd (at-grade signalized intersection)
  • Thousand Oaks Dr
  • Heros Stadium (at-grade turn-off)
  • FM 2252/Perrin-Beitel Rd
  • Nacogdoches Rd
  • Wetmore Rd
  • McAllister Park (at-grade turn-off)
  • Starcrest Dr
  • Jones-Maltsberger Rd
  • US 281
  • West Ave
  • Vista Del Norte Dr (at-grade turn-off)
  • FM 2696/Blanco Rd (at-grade signalized intersection)
  • Bluffton Oaks (at-grade turn-off)
  • FM 1535/NW Military Hwy (at-grade signalized intersection)
  • Inverness Blvd (at-grade turn-off)
  • Parkway ends at Lockhill-Selma and becomes Wurzbach Rd (at-grade signalized intersection)
SPEED LIMITS

  • 60 mph between Blanco Rd. and Weidner Rd.
  • 50 mph between NW Military Hwy. and Blanco Rd.
  • 45 mph east of Weidner Rd. and west of NW Military Hwy.
After completion, sections were initially signed at 45 mph because of TxDOT engineering policies for roadways that include curbs, sidewalks, and bike lanes. Speed studies were subsequently performed and supported an increase to the current limits.
 
SPECIAL FEATURES & NOTES

  • Bike lanes WB from Perrin-Beitel Rd. to Jones-Maltsberger Rd. and from West Ave. to Lockhill-Selma Rd.; EB from Lockhill-Selma Rd. to Blanco Rd., along Vista Del Norte Dr. from Blanco Rd. back to Wurzbach Parkway, then from Vista Del Norte Dr. to West Ave. and from Starcrest Dr. to Perrin-Beitel Rd.
  • Walking trail in median between Lockhill-Selma Rd. and NW Military Hwy.
  • Hike/bike trail under parkway at US 281 and adjacent to EB parkway between Jones-Maltsberger Rd. and Starcrest Dr.
  • Sidewalk adjacent to WB parkway between Wetmore Rd. and Starcrest Dr.
 
TRAFFIC
With the completion of the middle segment of the parkway in 2015, traffic counts are now increasing rapidly.

AVERAGE ANNUAL DAILY TRAFFIC
LOCATION 1990 2006 2010 2015 2016 2017 '07-'17
% CHG
Weidner Rd.14,60015,80016,33724,15325,465+74.42%
Perrin-Beitel Rd.20,00029,00019,29339,03640,769+103.85%
E of Wetmore Rd.30,00031,00021,08639,82941,685+38.95%
Starcrest Blvd.33,00029,00024,80043,55845,588+38.15%


Media gallery

Click here for video of this freeway.


Construction projects

  • A "land bridge" connecting the two sides of Hardberger Park bisected by the parkway is under construction between Blanco and NW Military

Future plans

TxDOT and the City of San Antonio are studying additional improvements along Wurzbach Rd. from the western end of the parkway to I-10.

A project to construct
intersection improvements at NW Military Hwy, which sees recurring peak period congestion, is scheduled to start construction in 2020.


History

This route was originally proposed in the late '80s as the aptly-named "East-West Parkway" and was eventually named Wurzbach Parkway because it connects to Wurzbach Road in northwestern San Antonio. William Wurzbach owned a ranch around what is now I-10 and Wurzbach; the road he built through his property was eventually deeded to the county and named for him. Wurzbach also served as a county judge and county attorney. 

The first section of the parkway from Wetmore Rd. to Nacogdoches Rd. was completed in 1996. The segment from Nacogdoches Rd. to O'Connor Rd. was completed in September 1999. The route between Lockhill-Selma Rd. and NW Military Hwy. was completed in late March 2000. The section between NW Military Hwy. and Blanco Rd. was completed in July 2002. Work on the project then stalled due to a lack of funding.

The missing section of the parkway from Wetmore Rd. to Blanco Rd. and an interchange at US 281 was considered for a possible tollway project; however it was determined in early 2007 that this was not feasible. 

In late 2009, the Texas Transportation Commission allocated funding to complete the missing middle segments. The first of those segments-- from Blanco Rd. to West Ave.-- opened on January 1, 2014, although a pavement issue delayed the opening of the overpass at Blanco until April 2. The section from Starcrest Dr. to Jones-Maltsberger Rd. opened in April 2015. The eastbound lanes from West Ave. to Jones-Maltsberger Rd. opened on September 15, 2015, followed by the westbound lanes on September 23, 2015.

The first sections of the parkway only had a raised center island between the opposing traffic. After a spate of head-on collisions caused by drivers jumping the island, a concrete center barrier was installed in early 2010 between Wetmore Rd. and Weidner Rd. Sections of the parkway built thereafter included a center barrier instead of raised island.

The original sections of the parkway were designed and posted for a 45 mph speed limit. After public complaints about this being too low, a speed study was conducted and the speed limit subsequently raised on the original segments to 60 mph ca. 2000. When the final segments were opened in 2014 and 2015, they, too, were posted at 45 mph as per design policies. A speed study conducted shortly after the final section opened supported an increase to 60 mph and signs were changed on November 4th, 2015.





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This page and all its contents are Copyright 2019 by Brian Purcell

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The information provided on this website is provided on an "as-is" basis without warranties of any kind either express or implied.  The author and his agents make no warranties or representations of any kind concerning any information contained in this website.  This website is provided only as general information.  The author expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based upon the information contained herein or with respect to any errors or omissions in such information.  All opinions expressed are strictly those of the author.  This site is not affiliated in any way with any official agency.