Construction Begins on First-Ever Land Bridge Connecting Hardberger Park

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Construction of the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge is underway, and a major part of the planning process associated with the project was how to construct the land bridge spanning Wurzbach Parkway with minimal disruption to the busy thoroughfare.

The land bridge, the first of its kind in the world, will span 150 feet and connect the east and west sides of Phil Hardberger Park, which is currently separated by a six-lane portion of the parkway. City leaders and Hardberger Park officials have predicted the land bridge will be a landmark in San Antonio.

To accommodate construction, lanes have been closed along a 1,600-foot stretch of Wurzbach Parkway between Blanco Road and N.W. Military Highway as part of a plan put in place by the City’s Transportation & Capital Improvements Department (TCI).

“We took special care to ensure the lane closures affected as few drivers as possible while allowing our crews to begin construction and work safely,” said Paul Berry, a spokesman for TCI. “The key is that we aren’t closing down the lanes during rush hours.”

TCI decided to begin daily work on the land bridge at 9 a.m. and stop before the afternoon rush hour begins at 4 p.m. During those hours the far right-hand lanes in each direction are closed, but throughout the rest of the day the lanes are open. Even with the closures, two lanes in each direction are still open for traffic, so the impact to drivers is minimal. This lane closure pattern will continue through mid-summer.

Berry said intermittent full-lane closures will begin next fall that will completely close Wurzbach Parkway between Blanco and N.W. Military.

“In about eight months or so, we will begin to place beams for the bridge over Wurzbach Parkway [and close] that area of the road to all traffic,” Berry said. “However, in our continued effort to impact traffic as little as possible the work and closures will only be done at night and on the weekends.”

Even though this major closure is several months out, Berry is encouraging those who regularly use Wurzbach Parkway to start identifying alternative routes, especially if they plan to drive on the parkway at night.

When the time comes to close that portion of the parkway, it will only be done between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Should construction become necessary over the weekends during this period, so might a full closure during daylight hours. TCI will communicate with neighborhoods and area businesses well in advance of the full lane closures and ensure the news is shared throughout the city.

“We don’t want anybody caught by surprise,” Berry said.

According to the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy, the land bridge will be the first ever to accommodate both people and animals. It is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The bridge design was commissioned by the Conservancy and will cost a total of $23 million dollars to build. The Conservancy raised $10 million from private donations, and the remaining $13 million will come from the City of San Antonio’s voter-approved 2017 bond.

3 thoughts on “Construction Begins on First-Ever Land Bridge Connecting Hardberger Park

  1. This bridge is controversial to some but if you really look at the design of the thing it will truly be something unique to behold and experience not just for the city but for the region. There has never been a bridge made this way to accommodate both people and animals. Many European countries have land bridges specifically to limit animals being struck by cars over busy expressways but it is certainly true that this bridge is one of a kind in allowing recreational use by humans and vital use by animals. This bridge is gonna be one heck of a landmark for San Antonio and everyone raising a stink about it either have misconceptions or lack understanding about the origin of this idea (voter approved).

  2. Agree 100% Justin. There is not enough space here to discuss all of its merits, but suffice it to say, San Antonio will be put on the map AGAIN, not only for our World Heritage Site, and the world famous Riverwalk, but now the only landbridge of its kind on the planet.
    I can’t wait to see it completed, and better yet, use it.

  3. I hope the stormwater and linear park plans offered in D10 that actually addresses floodwaters, greenway connectivity, emmissions, community health, and wildlife will receive as much support and fanfare. So far, it’s been roadblocks.

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