ALAMO HEIGHTS — A major road project aimed at improving Broadway and reducing dangerous flooding is being hailed as a “game changer” for the city.
The Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which handles the distribution of government transportation money for local transit and infrastructure, recently approved millions in funding for the initiative.
The road-improvement project — a collaboration among Alamo Heights, the Texas Department of Transportation, Bexar County and the MPO — is also planned to address longtime flooding issues that have plagued Broadway from Burr Road to Austin Highway.
“The project is a potential game changer for Alamo Heights,” said Mayor Bobby Rosenthal. “The main part of the project will be to provide underground culverts to Broadway that will create drainage and relieve flooding. It will also catch all the water coming upstream from Terrell Hills and San Antonio.”
The project could potentially cost up to $34 million, with additional funds coming from the city, TxDOT and Bexar County.
Rosenthal said $10 million approved by the MPO on April 23 was just the “first domino to fall.” Other funding is anticipated.
“Getting the MPO on board is huge for us,” Rosenthal said. “(Alamo Heights’) next step will be to go to (Bexar County). The city of Alamo Heights will have to contribute, too.”
Laura Lopez, a spokeswoman for TxDOT, said the project will also include roadwork along Broadway such as repaving sidewalks, adding bike paths, drainage works and removing and improving on-street parking.
“The project is funded for $14 million at this time; that is for roadway rehabilitation and complete street improvements,” Lopez said. Drainage funding is expected to come as the project unfolds.
Lopez said the work goes to bid in October 2019. The project is scheduled to begin construction in early 2020.
“TxDOT will oversee the Broadway project once it gets underway,” Lopez said.
She added at this early stage, there is no information on lane closures along Broadway during construction. It also is too early to determine how long the work will take, Lopez said.
The Broadway project comes on the heels of a March 28 rainstorm that caused streets to overflow in parts of Alamo Heights, leaving some residents and motorists frustrated and angry.
“It was a disaster,” Rosenthal said. “We have had several plans to fix the flooding along Broadway over the years, like building retention ponds by Patterson (Avenue). But this is the first one to gain traction.”