Phase three of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park will extends southwest of downtown.
Phase three of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park will extend southwest of downtown to the confluence at Apache-Alazan Creek. Credit: Courtesy / FPC

The Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) on Wednesday approved design plans for the third section of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, a multi-phased project that began in 2017. 

Plans submitted to the commission by John Mize, managing principal of the firm FPC, detailed the proposed landscaping, pedestrian paths, lighting, and signage for phase 3 of the project which spans from the Union Pacific Railroad bridge just north of Cevallos Street to the Apache-Alazan Creek at Interstate 35. 

It also included specifications for site paving, flood control, and low-impact development features for a segment of the creek.

The creek transformation project, primarily funded by Bexar County and managed by the San Antonio River Authority, is remaking what was once a downtown drainage ditch in downtown San Antonio into a linear park highlighting the city’s history and culture. The work is being done in four phases. 

The first segment of phase 1 was completed and opened in 2018 while segments two and three were delayed in June 2020 when crews unearthed the 145-year-old cornerstone of  St. James AME Church. 

Archaeologists are continuing to investigate the area and completion of the two segments is set for fall 2022. 

Construction continues along San Pedro Creek near Dolorosa Street on Tuesday.
Construction continues along San Pedro Creek near Dolorosa Street on Tuesday.

For phase 2, which extends from Guadalupe Street to just north of Cevallos Street, construction is underway. Occasional road closures are planned for cross streets starting in November and continuing through July 2022.

FPC architect Mize began working on phases 1.3 and 2 in March 2019 and on phase 3 in August 2020. The project team also includes Rialto Studio, HDR Engineering, GGC Engineers, Structural Engineering Associates, Work5hop, Ecosystem Planning & Restoration, and Pape-Dawson Engineers. 

Mize said there are a number of challenges on each of the San Pedro Creek phases, but phase 3 is unique in that, with businesses in the area, crews will have limited rights of way in which to work. In addition, the steep gradient on the creek banks will make it challenging to build a pedestrian “paseo” that meets Texas Accessibility Standards, he said. 

“The unique challenge was dealing with the existing Union Pacific Railroad bridge, which the project is replacing, and making sure we have at least minimum clearances between the new railroad bridge structure and the pedestrian path,” Mize said. 

A Union Pacific train passes over the future third phase redevelopment of San Pedro Creek. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

The phase 3 segment will feature natural channel design components to improve water quality and mitigate erosion. 

Bexar County commissioners will review construction plans for phase 3 next month. 

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.