SAN ANTONIO The upcoming 2022 bond program is expected to include some of the money to expand the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails system, but whether it will be enough to end the long-awaited loop through the city remains to be seen.
The greenway trail system meanders around San Antonio and is a popular destination for runners and bikers looking to cover long miles away from busy roads. The city has completed 84 miles of hiking trails worth $ 143 million to date, but it is still miles away from completing the original “ring” of creekway trails through the city envisioned by former Mayor Howard Peak .
And since voters decided last year to redirect the 1/8 sales tax that traditionally financed the expansion of the road system, new sources of funding had to be found.
City Manager Erik Walsh told city council members during a briefing on Sept. 29 that Bexar County has agreed to develop 44.6 miles of hiking trails over the next 10 years, approving $ 83.5 million for the purpose Has. That leaves 45.4 miles, Walsh said, which would cost an estimated $ 200 million.
The $ 1.2 billion 2022 bond program is a likely source of funding for at least some of the remaining follow-up work. To keep up with the evolution of the trails, Walsh told council members that the city must allocate at least $ 100 million of that money to trails.
Linear Creekway Parks Advisory Board Chairman Greg Hammer said that in his understanding, those 70 miles would end the original vision of the trailway loop as well as some of its tributaries. However, he does not see this as the end of the project.
“The more we build, the more opportunities for connections we identify and the more neighborhoods we can connect, the more people we give the opportunity to use the system. And then it becomes more viable as an alternative transportation resource rather than just recreation, ”said Hammer.
Walsh also told council members that the Activate SA group had spent “a disproportionate amount of time” identifying streets and paths that could be connected to the path system in a hub-and-spoke format. That would cost another $ 90 million, Walsh said, but the roughly $ 45 million worth of projects are running along some of the city’s failed streets and could be taken over as part of the city’s efforts to fix them.
Despite the record size of the loan program, there is no guarantee that city staff, and ultimately community committees and voters, will include all of the $ 245 million worth of funds in the final list of projects.
City officials say the bond program project proposals total $ 2.8 billion – more than double the bond program capacity. They came from council members, employees, community partners, authorities and the public.
The city’s total infrastructure needs, excluding housing projects, are even greater – more than five times the size of the $ 6.6 billion bond program.
City officials will present their recommendations for bond projects to the city council on Wednesday at 2 p.m.
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