Businesses find ways to move forward as St. Mary’s Strip construction project nears completion

St. Mary’s Strip open to traffic, but city says it still has items to complete by the end of the month

SAN ANTONIO – The St. Mary’s Strip is now open to traffic, but the city says it still has a few bucket list items to complete by the end of September.

Mimi Ortiz said when she looks out the windows of Singhs Vietnamese, she’s able to breathe a sigh of relief.

“With business coming in and out, it’s nice to see the house very full,” Ortiz said. “We were having trouble and getting a lot of complaints saying, ‘I can’t even get to your restaurant. Where do you park?’ And we would just say we don’t have any control over that. It’s the city’s doing.”

Ortiz, who serves as the bar manager at Singhs, saw the start of construction along the St. Mary’s Strip more than two years ago. The St. Mary’s Strip is now open to traffic, even though the city said it still has a few bucket list items to finish before classifying the project as complete. A spokesperson with Public Works said those should be done by the end of September.

“It’s a relief,” Ortiz said. “We had trucks in front of the building blocking our entrance. We’ve had the sidewalks completely off.”

Here’s a list of everything construction crews with the St. Mary’s Strip Project have completed as of Thursday afternoon:

  • Wider sidewalks (from 3-4′ to 6′)
  • Pedestrian lighting and landscaping (38 light poles and 27 trees)
  • Two signalized, mid-block pedestrian crossings
  • New traffic signals and decorative crosswalks at the intersection of N. St. Mary’s Street and Ashby Place
  • Five limestone benches
  • Multiple covered VIA bus shelters
  • On-street parking and additional loading zones (18 regular spaces and four combined commercial/passenger loading zone spaces)
  • Bike lanes
  • Complete road reconstruction with new utility infrastructure (CPS Energy gas and SAWS water and sewer)
  • Sidewalk repairs (as needed)
  • Correction of minor drainage ponding issues
  • Traffic signal adjustments
  • General cleanup and removal of equipment and materials

The project’s scope, from East Mistletoe to West Josephine Street, was to make St. Mary’s Strip more accessible.

The North St. Mary’s Strip project started on March 15, 2021. The original contractual end date was Oct. 5, 2022. That date was revised to this summer, according to Public Works. The city added a contractor to help expedite the $11.4 million project.

Sean Wen, who owns Wurst Behavior and Curry Boys BBQ near the Strip, said he’s excited, too.

“There’s still so much that the street can give to the city,” Wen said. “If we’re able to push that needle forward a little bit and get St Mary’s back to a place where it becomes that ‘Hey, let’s go out.’ That would mean a lot to us.”

Among the punch list items for the construction crews with the city to still complete are sidewalk repairs, correction of minor draining ponding issues, traffic signal adjustments and overall cleanup and removal of equipment.

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About the Authors

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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