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Transportation

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.

Exhibit 26

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.

Exhibit 27

Alamo Region, Highway Miles, Vehicle Miles Driven and Registered Vehicles, 2008

County Name Centerline Miles Lane Miles Daily Vehicle Miles Registered Vehicles
Atascosa 426 1,011 1,498,598 39,076
Bandera 196 415 381,130 25,087
Bexar 1,014 3,274 27,604,293 1,302,830
Calhoun 174 402 440,144 21,306
Comal 268 679 3,419,434 116,445
Dewitt 563 1,558 506,584 22,233
Frio 338 759 981,579 12,233
Gillespie 272 689 753,808 30,843
Goliad 249 505 363,131 8,354
Gonzales 409 880 1,121,766 21,569
Guadalupe 389 932 2,873,060 114,254
Jackson 293 636 872,774 16,495
Karnes 337 696 393,855 12,802
Kendall 194 453 960,771 46,134
Kerr 293 703 1,145,602 54,239
Lavaca 316 641 567,642 25,844
Medina 324 766 1,225,304 44,900
Victoria 311 890 2,013,194 86,137
Wilson 332 745 830,780 43,547
Region Total 6,698 16,634 47,953,449 2,044,328
Statewide Total 79,975 192,542 488,790,361 21,171,729

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

Exhibit 28

Alamo Region, Highways

See text version.

Source: Texas Department of Transportation.

View text for Alamo Region Highways.


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

Exhibit 29

Alamo Region, Railways

See text version.

Source: Texas Department of Transportation.

View text for Alamo Region Railways.

Exhibit 30

Alamo Region, Foreign Trade Zone

Foreign Trade Zone 155 occupies all of Victoria and Calhoun counties and a southwest portion of Jackson County.

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

Public Transportation

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

Exhibit 31

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.

Airports

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

Endnotes

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.

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