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Defenders update: City finds money to improve West Side sidewalks

Design phase already begun along South San Joaquin Avenue

SAN ANTONIO – A woman and her neighbors living along a neglected West Side street will see their sidewalks upgraded after all.

The Defenders previously shared the story of Gloria Villanueva, who lives along the 900 block of South San Joaquin Avenue. Her family called the Defenders because they were wondering why the other side of the street got smooth, sidewalks installed, but Villanueva’s side was left crumbling.

Villanueva has trouble maneuvering her son’s wheelchair over the cracked concrete. He is taken to adult day care daily.

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On the other side of the street, smooth new sidewalks were poured by the city in 2015.

The city’s Transportation and Capital Improvements Department said that side of the street had no sidewalk at all and was therefore chosen for installation to help stretch funds as far as possible for sidewalk repair.

After the story aired, the Defenders found out Thursday that the sidewalks will be fixed.

District 6 City Councilman Ray Lopez, who has met his term limit in office, said the design phase has already begun and will cost between $18,000 and $20,000. Those funds are coming from the city’s 2017 general fund.

READ MORE: City looks at new way to fix sidewalks

The construction of the sidewalks will cost $180,000, Lopez said. That money will come from the city’s 2018 budget. Lopez said there is already a line item in that budget draft.

DEFENDERS: Filling in cracks, gaps

Lopez will not represent District 6 after the newly elected council member is sworn in. He said his successor could decide to reallocate the funds to another project, but feels it will be unlikely since the first-term council member would need to get the approval of his council colleagues first. 

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