For years I have heard about the plunge pool wall and the walkway funded by an ancient bond issue that one day would provide a river-level linkage between the San Antonio River Authority on Guenther and Blue Star. This a key component tying the downtown River Walk to Eagleland and the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Improvements Project.
For months upon months of morning walks I watched as water was diverted and tall new walls went in, hopefully keeping the towering cypresses on the upper banks from tumbling into the river. This was a much more complicated project than it sounded when we were in meetings saying “just do it.”
Then they started on the linkage, which again, is much more complicated and sophisticated in design than it sounded. In the process, the river keeps on getting diverted, divided, filled in… repeat.
The water birds’ favorite part of the construction has ended. For a while, a bypass sent river water shooting through an enormous pipe. The fish and crawfish that went on this theme-park-type ride for free, albeit without advance consent, were spat out on the other side – temporarily stunned. This easy fishing spot was the most coveted on the river, evoking numerous turf wars amongst the long-legged birds, now forced back into working for their next meals.
But now, sensuous curved concrete supports are snaking their way through the heart of the river channel, not awkwardly clinging to the walls as I had envisioned. As I monitor the construction, I find myself clueless as to how it will look.
I have received a few hints. Larry Clark of Bender Wells Clark Design explained there will be a cascading water feature skirting one side of the new elevated mid-channel pathways. One of the supervisors from Zachary Construction pointed out how it will tie back into the pathways by Blue Star. Mike Addkison of the San Antonio River Foundation managed to get the above schematic for me, but that still does little to help me.
Seems I just have to be patient and watch it grow and emerge from the river bed.
But can’t wait to walk that walk!