San Antonio River flows from historic past into decade-long revitalization effort
The historic San Antonio River has long served as the heart of the city. Each year the world-renowned River Walk draws millions of visitors, and now miles of urban river have been revitalized beyond downtown and the famed Paseo del Rio. A comprehensive, multi-year project was completed in 2013 that restored and enhanced 13 miles of the San Antonio River both north and south of downtown.
The San Antonio River Improvements Project (SARIP) is a $384.1 million investment by the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, San Antonio River Authority (SARA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the San Antonio River Foundation in flood control, amenities, ecosystem restoration and recreational improvements along 13 miles of the San Antonio River from Hildebrand Avenue south to Loop 410 South. SARA served as project manager for all sections of SARIP and as local sponsor with USACE specifically for the Mission Reach.
SARIP is comprised of four distinctive reaches: The Museum Reach, a four-mile segment of the river from Hildebrand Avenue south to Lexington Avenue; the Downtown Reach, a segment of the original River Walk from Lexington Avenue to Houston Street; the Eagleland, a one-mile segment from South Alamo to Lonestar Boulevard; and the Mission Reach, a eight-mile section of the river extending from Lonestar Boulevard south to Loop 410 South.
A concerted community effort to revitalize the river began in 1998 when Bexar County, the City of San Antonio and SARA created the San Antonio River Oversight Committee. The 22 civic and neighborhood leaders appointed to the committee were given the responsibility of overseeing the planning, design, project management, construction and funding necessary to complete the project. In addition, the committee was charged with providing an open public forum for citizen input into the project's development. The Oversight Committee was co-chaired by former mayor Lila Cockrell and architect Irby Hightower and an appreciation ceremony took place on November 2014 to commemorate the work of all the committee and sub-committee members throught its existence.
To view interactive maps with design plans for the Museum and Mission Reaches, click on the appropriate icon on the map to the left.