The first phase of a major flood control project that aims to preserve Woodlawn Lake’s “urban oasis” quality of life began with a groundbreaking Tuesday afternoon.
“What happened is the city developed away from us. It kept draining toward us,” said Alejandro Soto, president of the Woodlawn Lake Community Association.
However, the $15.1 million project will start with improvements to the Seeling Channel (see PDF map here) from Woodlawn Lake to Wilson Ave.
Funded by the 2007-2012 bond program, Phase 1 is due for completion in September 2015.
Cris Medina, who represents City Council District 7, said the goal is to reduce flooding in the nearby Woodlawn Lake and Jefferson neighborhoods.
Other Bexar County projects will create detention ponds to also help lessen the flow of water.
Gilbert Santana, who lives within sight of the Seeling Channel, said he hopes the projects will finally do the trick since his home was swamped by the record flood of 2002.
“I don’t want that to happen again because this house is being passed on to me,” Santana said.
He said during the last heavy rain several months ago, the concrete steps at his front door broke away from the porch that was still flooded.
The project also will include creating two bridges at the park, one for pedestrians, the other for vehicles, 300 feet west of the existing South Josephine-Tobin Drive Bridge, upstream of Woodlawn Lake.
Soto said, “It’s what we’ve been pushing for a long time.”