SAN ANTONIO – The 2012 bond project to widen and deepen the Menger Creek flood channel on the city’s East Side wasn’t the type of project that grabbed many residents’ attention. While it would remove 49 homes from the floodplain, it was little more than a public works project.
“It's hard for any public entity to have enough money to provide the projects that the community needs and deserves so through that partnership with the county we were able to enhance what was provided on the east side,” said Mayor Ivy Taylor, who as the district’s councilperson in 2010, helped push to get the project on the bond.
“It meant a lot because we need it,” said Mary Emerson, president of the Harvard Place/Eastlawn neighborhood association and a 59-year resident just a block from the creek.
In 2014, the county got involved and offered to pitch in an additional $4 million to the project to surrounding land into a linear park, complete with a playground, picnic area and walking trails.
“At least the kids have somewhere to play instead of ripping around on the streets,” said Reggie Williams, who lives right across from the creek.
“I think it will be good for the neighborhood because Wheatley Courts is across the street and those children need a park to go to too,” added Emerson.
“We may have less access to parks over here and with all the new housing that's coming in and the new hope for young people over here, of course, access to a park is a great amenity that complements all our efforts,” said Taylor.
Preliminary work on the drainage has begun but a timeline for the project was not given at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
The project is scheduled to be completed by December of this year.