"Road to nowhere" HWY 211
While the first segment provided an obvious benefit in connecting the research park to US 90, the other segment (from Culebra to Bandera) was often cited by some (short-sighted) people as being a "road to nowhere", especially given the lack of the Culebra to Potranco segment, a perception that has persisted. The fact that much of the land was donated caused some to believe that the road was built to encourage development in western Bexar County. TxDOT, however, has always maintained that the road was built to get ahead of the growth and preserve a corridor at little cost before development encroaches, costs increase, and the need becomes acute, thus reflecting the type of long-range planning that citizens want. TxDOT cited the fact that when Loop 1604 was planned in the 1960s, it was way beyond the edge of the city and many people at that time also lambasted it as a "road to nowhere", but the wisdom of that foresight is quite evident today. It's worth noting that despite what was alleged two decades ago, little development has occurred along SH 211 itself to date; instead, as predicted by planners, development has surged outward along Potranco, Culebra, and Bandera (even in the absence of the middle segment), and the need for completing SH 211-- and the wisdom of its existence-- is becoming more evident.
So with growth now exploding in western Bexar County, officials began working again in 2007 to acquire the necessary right-of-way and funding for the missing middle segment from Potranco to Culebra, and TxDOT began the process to update its environmental reviews for the entire corridor both in anticipation of constructing the middle section as well as for possible future upgrades of the corridor to a divided highway or freeway. In late 2009, Bexar County and the Texas Transportation Commission approved a pass-through financing agreement whereby Bexar County will build the missing segment and be reimbursed by the state over several years. The findings for the latest environmental review were released in mid July 2017. Approval by the Federal Highway Administration was expected in the third quarter of 2017. Construction is currently scheduled to begin in late 2018 and be complete in mid 2020.
(SH 211 is authorized by Minute Order 88108 [November 29, 1988]. The order includes the section from SH 16 to I-10.)
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