Project aimed at fixing sewage issues causing headaches for business owner on East Side

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter, Luis Cienfuegos - Photojournalist, Eddie Latigo - Photojournalisst

SAN ANTONIO - A big project aimed at fixing sewage problems around Holbrook Road on the city's East Side is causing some big headaches for a local business owner.

The San Antonio Water System started the project, required by the Environmental Protection Agency, about a year and a half ago.

Jo Ann Rivera, who owns Victoria's Black Swan Inn on Holbrook Road, said her inn is primarily known as a wedding venue, but right now, the scenery around the venue is a muddy mess.

"If you take a look around and you're a bride, you certainly don't want to get married in a construction site," Rivera said. "We have been in this construction site for a year and a half. They dug a hole right behind the gazebo, where the weddings take place."

The Holbrook project is aimed at replacing sewage lines with much bigger lines to eliminate sewage leaks.

But Rivera and Philip Ross, an attorney whose office is located in Victoria's Black Swan Inn, say the project has a number of different phases with a number of different contractors who haven't been cleaning up.

"They are not managing the construction job appropriately ... in terms of keeping the road clear for safe transportation and also directing traffic," Ross said.

"We can't get in. We can't get out," Rivera said. "Sometimes, the road is completely closed. We are sandwiched in between two different construction sites. It's almost like being in a war zone."

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