HALT warning system upgrade up for vote in proposed county budget

Bexar County Commissioners Court to vote Tuesday on additional $2.5 million

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - When it comes to low water crossings, HALT means much more than stop. It stands for High Alert Lifesaving Technology. 

The warning system, installed at 145 low-water crossings that are considered the worst in Bexar County, is up for an expansion and upgrade as part of the new budget to be voted on Tuesday by the Bexar County Commissioners Court. 

Nearly $10 million of the $500 million countywide flood control project has been spent since 2007 on the HALT system.

"This one project, in my opinion, has had the greatest impact on all the flood control projects," said Renee Green, director of Bexar County Public Works. "Granted, it doesn't save homes from flooding, but it saves lives. It's a public safety project."

Green said she received 120 email alerts from HALT over the weekend, thanks to the system's hardline sensors in the water measuring the pressure. 

"HALT helps us to know where to go first," she said. 

Green said she is hopeful the commissioners will approve an additional $2.5 million to expand and upgrade the system.

She said 10 sites in suburban communities and some existing sites will see upgrades, including mechanical arms that lower to stop traffic, as well as software improvements that would show 
live images as the water rises and falls. 

The county's website already shows which low water crossings are open and closed.

"We would like to be in a position in the future to offer those cameras or those real-time videos available to the public as well," Green said. 

She said it would be a pilot program at the 10 suburban sites that have been suggested and must still be vetted. 

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