Thousands of drivers who use Hausman Road as a shortcut from Loop 1604 to I-10 are starting to see some progress on one of the most-heavily traveled roadways in the city. Utilities are going in along the first section of road project nearest Loop 1604.
The widening of Hausman Road will proceed in quadrants to make it easier on the 17,000 drivers that go up and down the road each week. Work began in December to prepare the first section nearest 1604 for utilities.
District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg said his predecessors got the project to the voters.
“Councilman Reed Williams decided that we were going to make it 'the' bond project for District 8.” He said.
Officials say the improvement project is the largest single project to come from the 2012 bond. The total cost is $62 million, including $1.66 million saved from the 2007 bond, $43.5 million from the 2012-2017 bond and $15.8 million from Bexar County.
Nirenberg said the project is a "design-build construction," which means construction will get started sooner.
“A project of this size is automatically going to create a lot of headaches for residents in that area. So through this process, we hope to minimize the impact on the community surrounding it,” he said.
“A lot of times, bigger projects like major freeways will be design-build,” said Jeff Webster, vice-president of development at Sundt Construction. He said the process means they got the project under way more quickly, and it allows crews to get conflicts of design resolved on the spot, avoiding cost add-ons during construction.
“What was so neat about this is we put everybody in the same office, Webster said. “So, designers, our engineers, the utility companies, the city, the county. Everybody was in the same office and they were working together –with nobody working in a vacuum – to complete the design of this road.”
The project will widen the length of the road to four lanes and complete the intersection with Kyle Seale Parkway. UTSA Sr. Associate Athletic Director Brad Parrott said it will facilitate the completion of UTSA’s Master Plan for athletics.
“Baseball, softball, football practice, and eventually, hopefully, a new convocation center," Parrott said. "Completing Hausman gives east-west as well as north-south access to the Park West Athletics Complex."
The project ties in with Bexar County’s regional flood control program and will build bridges over five low-water crossings. Drainage improvements are designed according to Low-impact development specifications to control stormwater runoff. The project will construct a 10 ft. concrete hike-and-bike trail that will connect to the Leon Creek Greenway. Signs selling new pad sites promise new business development along the road.
Nirenberg said for his constituents the project means an easier drive and ease of access for residents, and he’s glad the voters approved it.
“And we’re going to get it done. Otherwise, this would have been a painful process for the entire Northwest community for many, many years,” he said.