SAN ANTONIO – After years of brainstorming and planning, San Antonio and Bexar County have begun making significant progress on the San Pedro Creek Project.
Phase 1 of the project will cost $175 million.
It will replace eight street bridges, remove 30 acres from the flood plain and add four miles of walking rails. Local leaders say once all four phases are done, the improvements will bring in $1.5 billion for the city.
Though mostly dirt and construction now, but big changes are on the horizon.
"When you're on the creek you'll know you're in San Antonio, Texas, because you're going to read about it and see the artwork," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.
A longtime champion of the project, Wolff has high hopes for the revival of San Pedro Creek.
He said the first phase of the project will be ready for its grand opening by May 5, 2018 -- San Antonio's 300th birthday.
"It was just a narrow little stream 4-, 5-foot wide in place of it there will be either 20 or 40 feet wide walkways along it, art along it, interpretive signs for the history of San Antonio," Wolff said.
During construction, workers found several artifacts and some of the rich history of San Antonio -- a bit of irony, given the main part in this project will be to show off the area history and help the future of the city grow.
"This project is already seen as an economic development in this part of downtown. The Frost Tower that is under construction now that wanted to relocate here because of the creek being restored," Suzanne Scott, with the San Antonio River Authority, said.
Scott said the project will pay off big time, and the revitalized creek will bring something new that the area has been lacking.
"Of course people will be all over this place because it will be a great destination," said Scott. "But also we will see plants animals coming back. Fish, birds other things you haven't seen at this creek in hundreds of years will now be coming back."