San Antonio, Texas Road Network

San Antonio, Texas Road Network

The highway network of San Antonio.

According to collegetoppicks, San Antonio is at the intersection of three highways, I-10 running from El Paso to Houston, I-35 from Laredo through Austin to Dallas, and I-37 running to the port city of Corpus Christi. Since I-10 temporarily has a more north-south run towards El Paso, there are no highways to the west. Two US Highways have been expanded to highways, but only within the built-up area, namely US 90 west and US 285 north. Interstate 410 forms the first beltway, and Loop 1604 the outer ring, which, incidentally, is only completed in the north of the agglomeration, makes up about a third of the entire ring route. Furthermore, some State Routes are also virtually freeways.

The center does not have a fine-mesh grid pattern. There is somewhat of a grid pattern, but it is less tight than in other American cities. The older residential areas are built in an intricate grid pattern. Beyond that, a grid pattern is missing, especially in the north and west of the agglomeration. Virtually no residential areas have been built on the south and east sides. Typically Texan, there are also many Frontage Roads here, local feeders that give access to the activity along the highways. However, this usually looks very massive because all highways are made of concrete, although it is not as bad as in Houston. Quite a few nodes are 4-level stack nodes with direct connecting arcs.

There are two small double numbers, I-10 and I-35 are double numbered for short distance (4 km) on the west side of downtown. I-35 and I-410 are double-numbered for 6 kilometers in the northeast of the metropolitan area. The I-410 ring road is 85 kilometers long, and the Loop 1604 is 152 kilometers long, of which only a part is designed as a motorway.

List of freeways

length first opening last opening max AADT 2015
84 km 1949 1968 244,000
64 km 1951 1964 217,000
27 km ? 1969 147,000
80 km 195x 1967 260,000
21 km 1967 1988 150,000
22 km 1978 1988 193,000
17 km 1987 2004 113,000
61 km 1987 2019 136,000


San Antonio was already a fairly large city in the 1940s with more than 250,000 inhabitants. In July 1949, the city’s first highway opened, what would later become I-10 northwest of downtown. The population doubled within 15 years to 500,000 inhabitants and an expansion of the highway network was necessary, which took place mainly in the 1960s, although the I-10 corridor along the west side of the center was mainly built in the 1950s. By 1968, Interstate Highways 10, 35, and 37 were completed in the region, as well as the I-410 beltway. The population of the region continued to grow strongly, reaching 800,000 inhabitants in the 1980s. Then most existing highways were widened, and in 1978 US 281, San Antonio’s most controversial highway, opened. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Loop 1604 on the north side of San Antonio was converted into a freeway, because this is where most of the new developments took place. By 2010, the city had grown to more than 1.3 million inhabitants, with an urban area of almost 2 million inhabitants. San Antonio is the sixth largest city in the United States, but remains a relatively unknown city outside the country.

Public transport

San Antonio is served by the San Antonio International Airport, which is located just north of downtown. It only serves domestic flights to other major US cities.

Public transport within San Antonio is provided by the VIA Metropolitan Transit, or VIA for short, which operates 91 bus routes with nearly 7,000 stops in the metropolitan area. About 120,000 travelers use the buses every day. There are 460 buses in service. There are plans to add express buses to the system, otherwise travel times will become too long due to the growing size of the conurbation.

Intercity passenger lines run in the form of the Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to New Orleans and the Texas Eagle to Chicago via Dallas. West of San Antonio, both lines run together in one service. Due to the slow nature and the large distances of intercity rail transport, this is not a serious alternative to other modalities.


Congestion in San Antonio has increased quite a bit since 2008 due to the rapidly growing traffic volumes. The busiest stretches are in the north of the city, in 2013, with 262,000 vehicles per day on 2×5 lanes west of US 281, I-410 was the busiest stretch of highway in the San Antonio region. I-10 is also very busy in the northwest. Traffic jams are strongest in the north and lowest in the south of the city. All highways around downtown have between 100,000 and 200,000 vehicles per day, with the busiest point in 2013 being I-35 between I-10 and I-37 with 196,000 vehicles per day. Bottlenecks in San Antonio are the various substandard nodes, there are many outdated nodes, of all Texas cities, San Antonio has the most clover leaves. The busiest interchange is between I-10 and I-410 in northwest San Antonio.

San Antonio, Texas Road Network

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