Bexar County Commissioners vote to move forward on San Pedro Creek improvement

Project to cost $175 million for 1.5 mile stretch

Author: Justin Horne, Meteorologist/Reporter,
Published On: May 21 2013 05:21:13 PM CDT   Updated On: May 21 2013 05:52:52 PM CDT

For those who grew up in San Antonio, San Pedro Creek may rustle up memories. 

With great historical significance, it later became a place for children to swim and fish.

"What do I left of those memories now?” asked Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo. “I have a ditch and this concrete line abomination through the center of this beautiful community."

As a child, Elizondo often visited the once vibrant creek. 

Elizondo, along with other county officials, want a change and are willing to spend $175 million to improve San Pedro Creek along a 1.5 mile stretch. 

A feasibility study has been completed and Bexar County officials told a crowd Tuesday morning that they were ready to move forward. A vote confirmed that notion in Tuesday’s Bexar County Commissioner’s meeting.

Plans for the creek through downtown include walkways and pavilions and improved flood control.

Over the years, San Pedro Creek endured projects from the Army Corps of Engineers that created concrete walls and transformed the creek into what commissioners called a “cement ditch."   

The project is intended to restore the creek’s history.

"We will have a public space that honors our history, celebrates our culture and protects property for generations to come,” said Elizondo.

Do not expect the improvements to mimic San Antonio’s River Walk, however.

"It’s going to be a totally different look and feel,” said Suzanne Scott, general manager for the San Antonio River Authority.

Officials admitted that the project will not be easy.

"This is a challenging project and if the court chooses to move forward, it’s going to face some of the most challenging conditions imaginable,” said Bexar County Manager Davis Smith. 

Those challenges include enhancing flood control and water quality of the creek. 

Negotiating rights of way with the City of San Antonio and private property is also expected to generate issues.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.