Busy sec­tion of U.S. 281, down­town streets will close to driv­ers to­day.

Traf­fic to be di­verted as slew of clo­sures will im­pact the area

San Antonio Express-News - - FRONT PAGE - By S. M. Chavey and Fares Sabawi sarah.chavey@ex­press-news.net | Twit­ter: @sm­chavey fs­abawi@mysa.com | Twit­ter: @FaresInSA

A con­ver­gence of an “un­usu­ally high num­ber of spe­cial events” and work on a ma­jor ex­pan­sion project will have driv­ers search­ing for al­ter­nate routes Satur­day.

Texas De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion is warning driv­ers that start­ing this week­end, all south­bound lanes of U.S. 281 be­tween En­cino Rio and Son­terra Boule­vard will shut down as part of the U.S. 281 ex­pan­sion project. Driv­ers will be di­verted onto the frontage road, which has the same num­ber of lanes as the high­way.

There is not set com­ple­tion date, but of­fi­cials ex­pect the clo­sure to last for sev­eral months.

And in about two weeks, the north­bound lane clo­sures are go­ing to be closed down, ac­cord­ing to the de­part­ment.

The con­struc­tion is part of a mas­sive five-year, $500 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of U.S. 281 from Loop 1604 north to the Co­mal County line. The first phase, which goes to Stone Oak, is sched­uled to be done in 2020, while the sec­ond might not be com­pleted un­til 2022.

Down­town driv­ers will be deal­ing with mul­ti­ple road clo­sures — but only for a day.

Four spe­cial events hap­pen­ing on the same day are be­hind Satur­day’s clo­sures, ac­cord­ing to the San An­to­nio Trans­porta­tion and Cap­i­tal Im­prove­ments De­part­ment.

Red Bull’s “Last Stand” bi­cy­cle race ac­counts for the long­est clo­sure. The streets sur­round­ing the Alamo, which serves as a back­drop for the race, will be closed through 3 a.m. Sun­day. The Alamo will main­tain nor­mal op­er­at­ing hours, ac­cord­ing to the event web­site.

Art­pace’s an­nual “Chalk It Up” will close Hous­ton from North Flores to North St. Mary’s as well as North Main be­tween Hous­ton and Sav­ings un­til 6 p.m. Satur­day night. The in­ter­sec­tions along Main, in­clud­ing Travis, Pe­can and Martin, will re­main open dur­ing the event. The Leukemia & Lym­phoma So­ci­ety’s an­nual “Light the Night” pro­ces­sion will close sev­eral down­town streets, in­clud­ing East Nueva from Dwyer to South Alamo. The clo­sures are set for 7 to 9 p.m.

The fourth event is a Texas Pub­lic Radio event at the Alameda The­ater. West Hous­ton be­tween North Laredo and Ca­maron will be closed from 5 to 11 p.m.

Three other down­town-area events will not close roads, but they may add some con­ges­tion to the area: two show­ings of “Wicked” at the Ma­jes­tic The­atre, the “Por Qué Será Las Quer­e­mos Tanto?” con­cert at the Aztec The­ater and the UTSA homecoming foot­ball game against Louisiana Tech at the Alam­od­ome.

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