Location: Bexar County, Texas
The Loop 1604 project consists of a proposal to add two new managed lanes in each direction along a major east-west expressway located on the fast developing north side of the San Antonio metropolitan region. As the lead traffic and schematic design engineer and environmental consultant, Michael Baker International’s role includes the preparation and processing of a geologic assessment, threatened and endangered karst species surveys, Golden Cheek Warbler and Black Capped Vireo surveys, award winning public engagement, horizontal and vertical engineering, traffic analyses, agency coordination, and NEPA documentation. The project originally included a 30+ mile portion of Loop 1604 that crosses the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, a sole source aquifer, and is adjacent to designated critical habitat for federally listed karst invertebrates. Michael Baker’s work also involved the facilitation of a Community Advisory Group, significant work on Context Sensitive Design solutions, a bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure assessment, and a survey and production of a YouTube video specific to Transportation Demand Management that was used to help educate local employers on how they can help manage transportation demands through concepts like ride sharing, telecommuting and flexible working hours. Thus far, the Michael Baker team hosted eight public meetings and dozens of stakeholder and agency meetings. Recently, funding changes allowed segment 1 of the proposed project to proceeed as a non-tolled facility. That segment was removed from the EIS and the EIS was reclassified as an EA by FHWA. The Michael Baker team continues to work towards environmental clearance on the remaining 23 miles of the corridor through the EA process. The project would be the first one of its kind in San Antonio if funded and constructed.