Bridges linking downtown San Antonio and West Side getting a makeover

The work is part of larger project freshening up of the new Zona Cultural corridor

A capital improvement project that aims to improve the connection between downtown San Antonio and the city’s West Side is now underway.

SAN ANTONIO – A capital improvement project that aims to improve the connection between downtown San Antonio and the city’s West Side is now underway.

The city is beautifying the Commerce Street, Buena Vista Street and Guadalupe Street bridges. Crews began to paint the underpass columns last week with hues found throughout the West Side at sunrise, sunset and of the Virgin Guadalupe’s cloak.

The beautification of the bridges is part of the project to create the Zona Cultural district between Main Plaza and South Salado Street. There will be new sidewalks, gathering spaces and bike lanes included as part of the plan.

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The work was supposed to be focused only on the Commerce Street corridor, but Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales’s office found funding to expand it to the Buena Vista and Guadalupe bridges.

“It encourages people to come explore what’s here on the West Side -- our arts community, our restaurants, and, of course, the wonderful people that have lived here on the West Side for generations,” Gonzales said.

For some, it’s another sign of more investment in an area where infrastructure has often been neglected.

“Historically, the highway disconnected the West Side from the west side of downtown, the train -- all of those things were impediments,” said Gabriel Velasquez, president and CEO of the Avenida Guadalupe Association. “It seems that we’re really dealing with the proactive efforts to make sure that the West Side is not a segregated piece of the city.”

The entire project is set to be completed in 2023.

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About the Author:

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.