TxDOT-sponsored freight study suggests Hwy 46 as alternate truck route to bypass San Antonio

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS JULY 5. Send comments via email to: jhayes@dot.state.tx.us. Or fax comments to the attention of Jesse Hayes at TxDOT at (210) 615-6295.

Last week, TxDOT held a public meeting regarding the expansion of Hwy 46. Originally, at a meeting called by the City of Bulverde in April, the expansion was going to be widening 46 to 4 lanes in Bulverde and New Braunfels and adding passing lanes and left turn lanes where appropriate in between. At the June 20 TxDOT meeting, they’ve now expanded the project to a full SIX lanes from the Bulverde city limits on the west side all the way to FM 3159 then again through the New Braunfels portion. Not even US 281 has 6 lanes in Comal County and it carries far more traffic! Many people at the meeting expressed concern about the increasing number of 18 wheelers traveling on 46, along with stating a 6 lane expansion is overkill and will only encourage more truck traffic between I-10 and I-35 to bypass congestion in San Antonio.

Also, since that meeting, a supporter sent the following:
A study by the National Freight Corridor (see study here, then click on “public participation” for San Antonio) was conducted by the Department of Transportations in the 8 states through which I-10 travels. It clearly recommends TxDOT make Hwy 46 the preferred alternate truck route to Loop 1604, particularly for hazardous cargo. Hazardous cargo right through the beautiful Texas Hill Country? Loop 1604 has a ban on hazardous cargo due to the aquifer (as it should), but though much of 46 is also over the aquifer, this freight study of I-10 done in 2002 states that Hwy 46 should be the alternate route for such cargo for those who want to bypass San Antonio.

From the I-10 Freight Corridor Study Public Participation Section: (see it here)

-Marked increase in truck traffic going through area on I-10
-Increased truck traffic on SH 46 and development along that highway; studies show there is not sufficient capacity for truck traffic on SH 46; need to protect right of way for future expansion.
-San Antonio recently mandated a specific hazardous materials route though the city, which has encouraged more trucks to use SH 46. Consider a bypass route for hazardous materials trucks.
-There is a need for alternate truck traffic routes in San Antonio and nearby towns,
including possible relief routes around small towns. Through traffic needs to be pulled out of major metropolitan areas like San Antonio.


The Transportation Commission meeting minutes from November 2005 (read transcript) show that TxDOT repeatedly refers to Hwy 46 as the “outer loop of San Antonio.” Is this why the project went from a 4 lane project at the meeting in Bulverde up to a 6 lane project at the New Braunfels meeting? Seems they may be trying to sneak these extra lanes into the project under the radar screen of those in the Spring Branch/Bulverde area. This is not what folks want barreling through their backyards. We don’t want to invite more congestion and especially not HAZARDOUS CARGO!

We have Transportation Commissioners that sit on these national and international corridor organizations. They see getting freight from I-10 to I-35, we see accidents, pollution, destruction of what’s left of Texas’ Hill Country beauty, lower property values, and lower quality of life. This could destroy the Hill Country as we know it. We can’t have the small town feel with a 6 lane truck route through it. What will this do to health and safety much less property values and tax revenues? We need to rethink this project and the overkill 6 lane expansion that’s proposed. Our elected officials as well as TxDOT need to be alerted to our concerns, and we need to work with them to start working on getting a hazardous cargo ban in Comal and Kendall counties, ASAP!

DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS JULY 5. Send comments via email to: jhayes@dot.state.tx.us. Or fax comments to the attention of Jesse Hayes at TxDOT at (210) 615-6295.