If you are one of the many students, professors and faculty who commutes to campus, you may have already noticed the traffic created by major construction around UTSA. Drivers should expect to adjust again because, starting next week, all roads leading to UTSA will be closed including the access roads from I-10, leaving UTSA only accessible by a single-lane dirt road off Hausman.
The original construction is part of a two-year project commissioned by the City of San Antonio and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to expand UTSA Boulevard, Hausman Road, Babcock Road and Cook Road from two lane roads into four traffic lanes.
All construction projects are expected to be completed by fall 2017; however, the excessive road closures and detours have made it difficult for current UTSA commuters to arrive and leave campus. Due to the amount of complaints received because of the duration of construction, the city has voted to expedite construction plans by six months with hopes of finishing by fall 2016. To do so, all roads leading to UTSA will have to be shut down until the project’s completion, with detours in place to lead traffic to the one-lane unpaved campus-entrance road off Hausman.
The road, which will be christened Tier-One Road, will be accessible to drivers directly from Hausman and veers dangerously off-road from the bridge near JV Bacon Road and into the Leon Creek Greenway Park. Orange safety cones and a highly reflective heavy-set officer waving a traffic wand will be placed to direct drivers to the detour.
Once in the often-flooded Leon Creek, drivers must circumvent the currents and follow the path created by three bulldozers and debris on a Thursday afternoon. Drivers will be expected to share the road with the walkers, runners and bikers who often use the trails in the area for recreational exercise. Heavy foot traffic from New Year’s resolutioners can be expected to puff through-out the month of January but, will dwindle by mid-February.
The city is advising all users of the uneven, weed-infested Tier-One Road to weld grill-guards onto the front of their vehicles, considering that deer population in the area has gone up significantly in the past few years. Other hazards such as falling trees, deep treacherous ravines and packs of wild coyotes can be avoided by driving quickly and keeping all vehicle windows and doors closed. To best serve the needs of the student body, the UTSA bookstore will be selling 13000 Lumen LED vehicle attachable spotlights, recommend for late night study sessions in the JPL or early morning calculus tests.
Despite haphazard planning, hazardous conditions, lack of any lighting and increased reports of missing people in the area, the rough, makeshift, unfit-for-normal-vehicle-travel dirt road is still expected to be faster than waiting in current construction traffic around UTSA as well as to take significantly less time than finding a parking space on campus.