Defenders update massive 2007 bond projects

137 complete; 9 behind schedule; 2 on schedule; 1 ahead of schedule


SAN ANTONIO – It's been six years since San Antonio voters approved a massive $550 million plan to improve streets, drainage, parks and more.

The vast majority of projects in the 2007 bond program have been completed, but some very visible projects are still dragging on.

The widening of East Houston Street near the AT&T Center is a $10.7 million project that will improve drainage and traffic signals, add curbs and sidewalks and replace the Salado Creek bridge.

But it's nearly two years behind schedule, thanks to a big change in the project, environmental studies and the Spurs.

"We waited a little bit because of the Spurs and the playoffs," said Mike Frisbie, director of the Capital Improvements Management Department. "We didn't want to start construction right there."

Out of 150 separate projects in the 2007 bond, 137 are complete, nine are behind schedule, two are on schedule and one is ahead of schedule.

One of the most visible projects in the bond program is the widening of Blanco Road in the heart of San Antonio.

It's also behind schedule and that's hurting some of the businesses there.

The $12.7 million project will improve drainage but is 10 months behind, due for completion now in November 2014.

The city had problems buying property from owners along Blanco.

Mike Kisida of X-Press Auto says his auto body business has dropped during construction and that the unmarked Joe's Hamburger stand across the street is really suffering.

"She's been there 42 years and her mother ran that stand before she did," he said.

Another long-delayed project is the Culebra Creek Park project to improve trails and such. It's behind by a year and a half but soon will be finished.

Another 2007 bond project, the expansion of Bulverde Road north of Loop 1604, is nine months late. It's now due to be completed in November.