The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) builds and maintains the Texas highway system through local offices and alliances with contractors located around the state. TxDOT serves the Alamo region from office locations in San Antonio, Hondo, Kerrville, New Braunfels, Victoria and Karnes City. Highways in the region include the following:
- I-10, running west through Gonzales and Guadalupe counties, and into the heart of Bexar County, where it then heads northwest into Kendall, Gillespie and Kerr counties;
- I-35, running southwest through Comal, Bexar, Atascosa and Medina counties;
- Loop 410, a circle around San Antonio;
- I-37, running north from Atascosa County into Bexar County;
- State Highway 90, running parallel to I-10 through Gonzales, Guadalupe, Bexar and Medina counties;
- State Highway 281, running south through Comal, Bexar and Atascosa counties;
- State Highway 181, running southeast from Bexar County through Wilson and Karnes counties;
- State Highway 87, running east from Bexar County to Wilson, Gonzales and DeWitt counties, and then heading southeast through Victoria and Calhoun counties;
- State Highway 183, running south from Gonzales County through DeWitt and Goliad counties;
- State Highway 77, running south through Lavaca and Victoria counties;
- State Highway 59, running southwest through Jackson, Victoria, and Goliad counties; and
- State Highway 57, branching off from I-35 and running west in Frio County.
The region’s 16,634 total lane miles make up 8.6 percent of state total lane miles.
Several of these highways are scheduled for repair, resurfacing and widening projects. Exhibit 26 shows funded highway projects estimated to cost more than $5 million, most of them in Bexar and Comal counties.
Alamo Region, Selected Highway Projects and Associated Costs
|Highway or Road||County||Description||Estimated Project Cost||Stimulus Funding?|
|US 281||Bexar||Construct Interchange Direct Connection Ramp||$167,969,760||Yes|
|SH 46||Comal||Construct New Roadway Lanes||$63,110,226||No|
|LP 345||Bexar||Construct Bridge||$24,588,147||No|
|FM 3009||Comal||Construct Overpass/Underpass||$23,743,019||No|
|LP 1604||Bexar||Construct New Roadway Lanes||$14,862,694||Yes|
|US 183||DeWitt||Replace Bridge||$10,696,288||No|
|US 281||Bexar||Construct Intersection Improvements||$9,520,555||Yes|
|IH 35||Comal||Resurface Roadway||$9,288,875||No|
|FM 306||Comal||Rebuild Roadway||$8,532,728||Yes|
|IH 10||Bexar||Resurface Roadway||$8,152,559||No|
|SH 239||Goliad||Widen Roadway||$7,030,987||No|
|PR 37||Bandera||Widen Roadway||$6,378,706||No|
|IH 10||Guadalupe||Resurface Roadway||$6,337,595||No|
|US 59||Victoria||Repair Bridge||$6,251,439||No|
|FM 1099||Atascosa||Repair Roadway||$5,789,694||No|
|PR 37||Bandera||Widen Roadway||$5,561,754||No|
|IH 10||Bexar||Resurface Roadway||$5,101,686||No|
|FM 1681||Wilson||Widen Roadway||$5,100,627||Yes|
Source: Texas Department of Transportation.
Alamo Region, Highway Miles, Vehicle Miles Driven and Registered Vehicles, 2008
|County Name||Centerline Miles||Lane Miles||Daily Vehicle Miles||Registered Vehicles|
Source: Texas Department of Transportation.
According to San Antonio’s metropolitan planning organization, trade-related traffic has boosted the city’s economy by spurring a number of businesses to locate along I-10 and I-35.
As Exhibit 26 illustrates, some of the Alamo region’s largest projects will be funded through stimulus money released under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An interchange at U.S. 281 and Loop 1604, located about 15 miles north of downtown San Antonio, is the region’s largest and most costly project, at nearly $168 million. The interchange is intended to address traffic congestion occurring as a result of population growth in the northern part of the city. Numerous other, smaller-scale projects are also scheduled for the region’s transportation network.18
The Alamo region’s roadways make up a significant share of the state’s transportation system. In all, the region has 6,698 centerline miles (miles traveled in a single direction regardless of the number of lanes), or about 8.4 percent of the state’s total centerline miles. Similarly, the region’s 16,634 total lane miles make up 8.6 percent of state total lane miles. The Alamo region has more than 2 million registered vehicles that travel about 48 million miles daily; across Texas, 21.2 million registered vehicles complete 488.8 million miles of travel daily (Exhibit 27).
Commuters in the Alamo region face longer commutes than those in other parts of the state; daily vehicle miles per capita averaged 33.2 for the region in 2008, versus 20.4 for the state as a whole.19
Alamo Region, Highways
Source: Texas Department of Transportation.
Trade Corridors, Railways and Ports
The Alamo region contains two major trade corridors, Interstate Highway 35 and Interstate Highway 10. I-10, which crosses eight states, facilitates east- and westbound traffic, while NAFTA-related trade between the U.S. and Mexico makes I-35 a key corridor for north- and southbound freight traffic. San Antonio is located at the crossing of these two highways, making it a critical point for trade-related transportation.
Both highways channel significant amounts of traffic through and around San Antonio; the busiest stretches of I-10 serve an average of more than 200,000 vehicles per day, while daily traffic on I-35 averages between 107,000 and 186,000 vehicles per day. According to San Antonio’s metropolitan planning organization, trade-related traffic has boosted the city’s economy by spurring a number of businesses to locate along I-10 and I-35. The trade routes also introduce challenges, however, such as increased congestion and pollution.20
The Union Pacific Railroad dominates the Alamo region’s rail lines, running through 13 of its 19 counties. Many lines run parallel to highways, including I-10, I-35 and State Highway 37 (Exhibit 28).
Union Pacific has an intermodal terminal in San Antonio that allows for the transfer of freight between rail cars and trucks. The busiest rail corridor in the region runs parallel to I-35, passing through Frio, Medina, Bexar and Comal counties. This corridor links San Antonio with terminals in Laredo and Dallas and facilitates the movement of goods between the U.S. and Mexico.
Union Pacific’s freight cars transport a mix of automotive, agricultural, industrial, chemical and energy products, with automotive goods making up the greatest share of trade volume at 40 percent.21
San Antonio International Airport had more than 4 million passenger boardings in 2008, up from 3.9 million in 2007.
The Alamo region also features passenger rail service. AMTRAK’s Texas Eagle and Sunset Limited routes carry passengers between San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston and other major cities. The Sunset Limited route extends from New Orleans all the way to Los Angeles, while the Texas Eagle runs from San Antonio to Chicago. Both lines make stops at AMTRAK’s San Antonio station, making it the second-busiest in the state. In fiscal 2008, AMTRAK’s San Antonio hub received 48,151 combined boardings and alightings. Only Fort Worth’s passenger rail terminal saw more traffic in that year, while total AMTRAK boardings and alightings for all of Texas totaled 323,210 (Exhibit 29).23
Alamo Region, Railways
Source: Texas Department of Transportation.
Alamo Region, Foreign Trade Zone
Source: Calhoun-Victoria Foreign-Trade Zone, Inc.
In addition to rail lines and highway trade corridors, the Alamo region contains Foreign Trade Zone 155, which stretches across Calhoun and Victoria counties and contains several ports used by chemical manufacturing industries. Foreign Trade Zones allow duty-free status for exported goods, creating a favorable environment for international trade.
The Port Lavaca and Point Comfort area, on the coast where Calhoun and Victoria counties meet, is an ideal location for trade because of its proximity to the Matagorda Ship Channel. Nearby companies manufacture chemicals, petrochemicals, aluminum ore and agricultural fertilizer and ship these goods to other countries. Cargo ship docks, barge terminals and storage facilities all contribute to the area economy. According to the Calhoun Port Authority in Point Comfort, marine terminals on the Matagorda Ship Channel support more than 16,000 jobs and almost $2 billion in annual business revenues (Exhibit 30).24
Two transit agencies serve most residents in the Alamo region. VIA Metropolitan Transit serves San Antonio, while Alamo Regional Transit offers services in surrounding rural counties. Other transit agencies serve smaller cities such as Victoria and Seguin (Exhibit 31).25
Alamo Region, Public Transit Authorities
|Public Transit Authorities||Office Locations||Counties Served|
|Alamo Regional Transit||City of San Antonio||Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Wilson|
|Community Council of South Central Texas||City of Seguin||Atascosa, Frio, Guadalupe, Karnes, Wilson|
|Dietert Public Transportation||City of Fredericksburg||Kerr|
|Medina County Public Transportation||City of Hondo||Bandera, Comal, Kendall, Medina|
|RTransit (Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission, Victoria Transit)||City of Victoria||Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria|
|VIA Metropolitan Transit||City of San Antonio||Bexar|
Source: American Public Transportation Association.
The Alamo region is home to two commercial airports, San Antonio International Airport and Victoria Regional Airport.26
Located eight miles north of downtown San Antonio, 2,600-acre San Antonio International has two terminals served by airlines including Southwest, Delta, Continental, United, US Airways, American Airlines, AirTran, Skywest (operating under contract with Midwest), Mexicana, Frontier and AeroMexico. According to preliminary data, San Antonio International had more than 4 million passenger boardings in 2008, up from 3.9 million in 2007.
Victoria Regional Airport, located northeast of the city of Victoria off of Highway 59, had 8,419 boardings in 2008, with Continental Connection providing flight service.27
In addition to these two airports, the region has 23 non-commercial airports, several of them in San Antonio, and two air force bases.28
All links were valid at the time of publication. Changes to web sites not maintained by the office of the Texas Comptroller may not be reflected in the links below.
- 16 Fort Sam Houston, “Fort Sam Houston,”; Visit San Antonio.com, “Lackland Air Force Base,”; and “Randolph Air Force Base,” (Last visited August 27, 2009.)
- 17 Military Transformation Task Force, “Fort Sam Houston Economic Impact Update: Summary,” pp. 1-3; and “U.S. Department of Defense BRAC 2005 Actions San Antonio,” (Last visited August 27, 2009.)
- 18 Texas Department of Transportation, “Local Information,” custom query created; “TxDOT Statewide Planning Map,” and “Current TxDOT Projects,” custom query created (last visited August 1, 2009); and interview with Isidro Martinez, director, San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization, San Antonio, Texas, July 1, 2009.
- 19 Texas Department of Transportation, “District/County Statistics,” (Last visited June 25, 2009.) Fiscal 2008 statistical comparison of Texas counties available in Excel format.
- 20 Texas Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Transportation, 2007 San Antonio District Traffic Map (Austin, Texas, 2008); and interview with Isidro Martinez, Director, San Antonio Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization.
- 21 Association of American Railroads, “Railroad Service in Texas, 2006,” p. 2, ; Texas Department of Transportation, “TxDOT Statewide Planning Map,” custom query created for railroads; and Union Pacific Corporation, Union Pacific Corporation 2008 Analyst Fact Book (Omaha, Nebraska, 2009), pp. 27-28. (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 22 Roger Croteau, “Distribution Center Expansions Adding 180 Jobs,” San Antonio Express-News, (November 7, 2008); Brad E.Bailey “Lacks Distribution Center Opens in Schertz,” Schertz Tales Interactive (April 21, 2008), and Tim Ghianni, “Trio of Cities form Ideal Distribution Hub,” Business Images Alamo Area (April 14, 2008), (Last visited August 27, 2009.)
- 23 National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK), “Sunset Limited Route Map,” “Texas Eagle Route Map,” and “AMTRAK Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2008: State of Texas,” (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 24 Calhoun-Victoria Trade Zone, Inc., “Foreign Trade Zone No. 155,” Calhoun Port Authority, “Overview of the Port,” “Port Facilities,&rdquo and “Economic Impact,” (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 25 American Public Transportation Association, “Texas Transit Links,” (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 26 Texas Department of Transportation, “Texas Airport Directory,” (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 27 U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, “Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports,” (last visited August 4, 2009), custom queries from Primary, Non-Primary Commercial Service and General Aviation Airports (by Rank Order) - Preliminary; San Antonio Airport System, “Fast Facts,” and “Airlines,” Victoria Regional Airport, “Airport Map,” and “Scheduled Flight Times,” (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 28 Texas Department of Transportation, “Texas Airport Directory,” and U.S. Air Force, “Air Force Base Locator,” (Last visited August 28, 2009.)