San Antonio Plaza de las Islas

Written by Randy Watson

As most residents of San Antonio have no doubt noticed, downtown's Main Plaza or Plaza de las Islas has been under redevelopment for the past 2 months.  This important historical part of San Antonio is being redesigned to improve drainage, pedestrian access, as well as to reinforce its historical legacy.  Once completed, the plaza should be restored and improved, making it a beautiful centerpiece of downtown.

The construction is being done in two large phases, each containing smaller phases within.  The first large phase has already gotten underway, and its intent is to improve the utilities in the area, permanently turn some streets into pedestrian-only walkways, and protect and enhance the archaeological nature of the site.

The first part of this plan began with the closure of Dwyer Street from Villita to Market.  This closure is temporary, and city authorities expect construction to be completed on July 23rd, 2007.  The east sidewalk will be open throughout.

The other closures the city expects are as follows:
· Main Plaza Street-will be permanently closed on April, 30th, 2007.
· Commerce, Market, and Main Streets will be partially closed beginning on May 3, and reopened on May 31, 2007.
· Dwyer, Nueva, and Main will be partially closed until July 23rd, 2007.
· Main Street will be permanently closed in June 1, 2007.

The second larger phase is slated to begin with the permanent closures of the surrounding streets, and is intended to focus on the restoration and redesign of the Plaza de las Islas.  This phase will include landscaping, new fountains, and new stonework.  The contract has not been awarded at this time, so the construction sequence is not yet available, but the city expects the entire project to be completed by March of 2008.

The entire project is budgeted at $958,440.00, and is being conducted under an accelerated production and design schedule to limit traffic congestion and impact on the businesses and downtown community.