Next segment of San Antonio’s San Pedro Creek Culture Park late and overbudget, but it’s going to be beautiful, officials say

February 15, 2019

Construction will take longer than initially expected on the next part of San Pedro Creek Culture Park and the project is over budget, but officials are nonetheless enthusiastic about the changes coming to the area.

This part of the project, the second segment of the first phase, goes from Houston Street to Nueva Street. It originally had been scheduled to be completed next year, but it’s now expected to be done in early 2021.

The three blocks from Houston to Nueva will take as long to demolish and construct as the entire first phase took, officials said Friday. Among the more demanding points are a large water cleaning/refuse feature under Commerce Street that needs to be addressed, ground water seepage areas that need to be sealed to contain old chemicals and underpinnings that are needed to stabilize the area between Commerce and Dolorosa streets.

And the work on the culture park must coordinate with nearly a dozen other construction projects in the area and digging must move slowly to ensure any historic relics are protected.

The joint project involves the county, city and the San Antonio River Authority. Bexar County Commissioners approved $60 million for the second segment in December.

At the time, Kerry Averyt, the river authority’s project manager for the park, said costs were running about 20 percent above the original estimates. He said the increase is due to design changes, market forces and the extended construction schedule.

“These three blocks are by far the most difficult,” Averyt said.

Once completed, however, this phase of the downtown linear park will have three new bridges, a large plaza and meandering walkways to promote walking, a sculpture garden, colorful murals behind the Spanish Governors Palace, a waterfall feature and several thousand plants and trees.

The first phase of the park was opened in May 2018, featuring a wide variety of public art focused on the history and culture of the historic creek.

Once the entire project is completed, the park will cover 2.2 miles through the downtown area, from the flood tunnel inlet at Interstate 35 near Santa Rosa Street south to the point where Alazan and Apache creeks meet at I-35.

Staff Writer Dylan McGuinness contributed to this report.