The San Antonio City Council has given final approval to construct the Hardberger Park Land Bridge.
Council approved contracts Thursday with several firms and reached agreements with the Texas Department of Transportation to link two sections separated by Wurzbach Parkway. The land bridge is designed to resemble the landscape in the park while serving as a crossing point for both people and wildlife. Discussion about the project began in 2015.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the bridge completes the original vision for the park.
“I’m happy today that this is finally the day where we can cast the vote that recognizes all that hard work,” he said.
The entire land bridge project is about $23 million. Council authorized a construction contract with SpawGlass Civil Construction Inc. with construction costs not to exceed $18 million. The remaining $5 million is being used for design, construction management, inspection, permitting, and other requirements.
About $13 million of the bridge’s funding comes from the 2017 bond package, which voters approved last year. The remaining $10 million comes from the Hardberger Park Conservancy which received donations from private donors, Bexar County, and Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The 311 acres of land Hardberger Park now sits on was purchased in 2006 and the park opened in 2010. It’s named after former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger.
The council vote was 8-1-1. District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez was absent, District 3 Councilman Rebecca Viagran abstained from voting, saying she had concerns with the project. District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse voted no, saying the money should be used on other projects.
“We have higher priority needs, and I would have appreciated that money being spent on the things that matter most,” he said.
Construction will start in November and is expected to be finished by early 2020.
Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org an on Twitter at @joeycules