San Antonio River Improvements Project Fact Sheet
- The San Antonio River Improvements Project (SARIP) is a $358.3 million investment by
Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the San
Antonio River Authority (SARA) and the San Antonio River Foundation in flood control,
amenities, ecosystem restoration and recreational improvements to the San Antonio River.
SARA serves as project manager for all sections of SARIP and as local sponsor with USACE
specifically for the Mission Reach.
- The project’s northern section—the Museum Reach—extends approximately four miles
from Hildebrand at Brackenridge Park to Lexington Street. The Urban Segment of the
Museum Reach extends approximately 1.5 miles from Lexington Street to Josephine Street,
was opened May 30, 2009. The Park Segment continues approximately 2 miles through
Brackenridge Park up to Hildebrand Avenue.
- The project’s downtown section, completed in October 2002, extends from Houston Street to
Lexington Avenue and includes the restored portions of the original San Antonio River Walk.
- The Eagleland segment, from Alamo Street to Lone Star Boulevard, is the transitional
segment between the downtown River Walk and the Mission Reach.
- The project’s southern section – the Mission Reach – extends approximately eight miles
from South Alamo Street to Mission Espada just below Loop 410.
Stakeholder and Government Involvement:
- The San Antonio River Oversight Committee
(SAROC), a 22-member citizen committee,
was appointed in 1998 to guide the planning
and implementation of the project. SAROC
continues to actively guide the project’s
- Bexar County
will contribute approximately $207.7 million
from the county’s flood tax (specifically for
flood control and ecosystem restoration
elements of the project) from Venue Tax funding from the May 2008 voter approved proposition supporting the funding of SARIP.
- The City of San Antonio contribution is
anticipated to be approximately $78.7
million over the life of the project, derived
from the city’s capital improvements fund
for amenities and recreation elements.
- The USACE could contribute approximately
$51.9 million to support the ecosystem
restoration and recreation elements in the
Mission Reach and $2.6 million toward
construction in the Eagleland segment on
the southern edge
of downtown San Antonio.
- The San Antonio River Foundation is a
non-profit organization dedicated to
transforming the San Antonio River by
raising money through the private sector to
bring artistic, recreational, environmental
and educational enhancements to the
San Antonio River.
- SARA provides
project and technical management
as well as overall project coordination
between the project partners. SARA will
also be responsible for operations and
maintenance (O&M) activities on the San
Antonio River Improvements Project. The
O&M funding from SARA offset future
City O&M costs and provided the City
additional funding capacity to issue debt
to cover a portion of the City’s funding for
construction of the Museum Reach-Urban
Segment. SARA’s O&M responsibilities
include the Museum Reach–Urban,
Eagleland and Mission Reach Segments.
The Mission Reach:
- Improvements along the Mission Reach will
focus on ecosystem restoration using a
technique known as fluvial geomorphology.
This technique will transform the
straightened river to replicate the original
flow of the river while maintaining flood
control, reducing erosion, re-introducing
native vegetation and creating an
environment more suitable for recreation
- The $245.7 million Mission Reach project
is funded by Bexar County ($176.6 million - of which $113.3 million is from the Bexar County Flood Tax and Venue Tax and the remaining $63.3 million from Bexar County is advance funding to USACE to keep the project on the optimum schedule with Bexar County being eligible for reimbursement),
the City of San Antonio ($6.5 million);
USACE ($51.9 million - total Federal obligation is $115.2 million) and through private
donations collected by the San Antonio River
Foundation ($4.7 million). Funding for utility
relocations by SAWS totals $6 million.
- The project’s ecological features include
restoring the natural pool, riffle, run
sequences; reconnection of two historic
river remnants; restoration of natural
backwater habitats; and restoration of
the native riparian corridor, including
the planting of over 20,000 young trees.
- Recreational features include over 15 miles of hike & bike trails, 6 foot bridges, shade structures, picnic tables, overlooks and river-edge landings.
- Laughlin-Thyssen, Inc. was awarded a $25.2
million contract to construct phase one of
the Mission Reach. A ground-breaking was
held on June 2, 2008, and phase one is
scheduled for completion by winter 2010/11.
- Zachry Construction Corp. was awarded a $22.3 million contract to construct phase two (contract award was 35% under construction cost estimate). A ground breaking was held on February 13, 2010, and phase two is scheduled for completion by fall 2011.
- Zachry Construction Corp. was awarded a $99.3 million contract to construct the third and final phase (contract award was 20% under construction cost estimate). A ground breaking ceremony was held on October 12, 2010, and phase three is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.
- The Eagleland segment, under construction
now, reflects the ecosystem restoration
planned for the remainder of the Mission
Reach. The Eagleland Segment has a budget
of $13.6 million.
The Museum Reach:
- A consultant team led by Ford, Powell &
Carson Architects & Planners, Inc. led the
final design for the Museum Reach.
- Improvements on the Urban Segment of
the Museum Reach double the length of
the existing River Walk and extend the
distinctive San Antonio experience to a
previously undeveloped section of the river
north of downtown.
- The project stabilized the river channel;
extended navigation by river barge through
the addition of a lock and dam; created
access along a linear park that links major
cultural institutions and commercial centers;
and added landscaping, pocket parks,
lighting and signage.
- Private funding raised through the San
Antonio River Foundation supported the
addition of amenities and art enhancements.
- Final design was completed in September
2006. Construction began in May 2007
and was completed in May 2009. Zachry
Construction Corporation was the contractor
for the project.
- The $72.1 million Museum Reach-Urban
Segment is funded by the City of San Antonio
($52.3 million), Bexar County ($13.1 million),
San Antonio Water System (SAWS; $200,000
for utility line relocation) and through
private donations collected by the San
Antonio River Foundation ($6.5 million).
- The $12.6 million Museum Reach Park
Segment portion of the San Antonio River
Improvements Project runs from Josephine
Street to Hildebrand Avenue, which is near
the San Antonio River headwaters. Phase
I, from Josephine Street to Avenue B, is
scheduled to open in November 2009. Phase
II, from Avenue B to Hildebrand Avenue, is
scheduled for completion by 2012. When
completed, the Park Segment will connect
downtown San Antonio to the Witte Museum,
Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio
Zoo with lighted hike and bike trails and
a constructed wetlands near the Witte