San Antonio River Improvements Project Fact Sheet
- The San Antonio River Improvements Project (SARIP) is a $384.1 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 served 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 essentially complete at this time and 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. The Mission Reach was completed in October 2013.
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. An appreciation ceremony took place in November 2014 to honor the work and commitment of the committee throughout its existence.
- Bexar County
contributed approximately $229.4 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 was approximately $76.7
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
$57.9 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 provided
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
focused on ecosystem restoration using a
technique known as fluvial geomorphology.
This technique transformed 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 $271.4 million Mission Reach project
was funded by Bexar County ($196.3 million),
the City of San Antonio ($6.5 million);
USACE ($57.9 million) and through private
donations collected by the San Antonio River
Foundation ($4.7 million). Funding for utility
relocations by SAWS totaled $6 million.
- The project’s ecological features included
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 included over 15 miles of hike & bike trails, 6 foot bridges, shade structures, picnic tables, overlooks and river-edge landings.
- Laughlin-Thyssen, Inc. was awarded the contract to construct phase one of
the Mission Reach. A ground-breaking was
held on June 2, 2008, and the grand opening was held on June 25, 2011.
- Zachry Construction Corp. was awarded the contract to construct phase two (contract award was 35% under construction cost estimate). A ground breaking was held on February 13, 2010, and the grand opening was held on June 25, 2011.
- Zachry Construction Corp. was also awarded the 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 the grand opening was held on October 5, 2013.
- The Eagleland segment reflects the ecosystem restoration
planned for the remainder of the Mission
Reach. The Eagleland Segment had a budget
of $13.6 million and is complete at this time.
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 doubled the length of
the existing River Walk and extended 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 was funded by the City of San Antonio
($51.3 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
II, from Avenue B to Hildebrand Avenue, is
scheduled for completion by mid 2016. 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