CONTACT: Megan Lagrone
Connie Swann (Parks)
SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 10, 2020) – The San Antonio community is invited to cross the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge beginning this Friday, Dec. 11. The public can enjoy the new Land Bridge while practicing social distancing. Construction barriers will be removed at 1 p.m. allowing pedestrians to traverse this new bridge for the first time. Reclaiming natural habitat above Wurzbach Parkway, the Land Bridge connects the previously divided halves of the 330-acre Phil Hardberger Park in north central San Antonio. The project was funded through private donations and the voter-approved City of San Antonio 2017-2022 Bond Program.
“For many years, the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge was only a dream. Thanks to overwhelming community support of the 2017 Bond, the generosity of donors from across the city and the hard work and dedication of so many, the vision is now a reality,” said former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger. “I am honored to invite San Antonians to come experience the Land Bridge and hope it will offer them an escape from the stresses of this year – a place where they may spend time with family and friends and connect with the natural world.”
The Land Bridge is uniquely designed for safe passage by people and animals and is the largest wildlife crossing constructed to date in the United States. According to National Geographic, in addition to reconnecting fractured habitats, wildlife crossings around the world have been shown to significantly reduce wildlife-vehicle crashes. In the years ahead, the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge will serve as a living classroom for research and engaging community programming.
“We join the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy in celebrating the opening of the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge. The Land Bridge connects people with nature in the heart of San Antonio. I look forward to watching the landscape grow and mature with native trees and plants and observing wildlife through viewing blinds designed by local artists. The bridge is an amazing achievement,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
Before venturing to Phil Hardberger Park this weekend, here are a few things visitors should know:
- Phil Hardberger Park hours of operation are sunrise to sunset. The Land Bridge will be open to the public from 1 p.m. to sunset and regular park hours thereafter.
- Due to COVID-19, formal opening ceremonies and celebrations will not be held.
- Larger than normal crowds are expected for opening weekend of the Land Bridge. Park visitors should wear masks and maintain at least six feet of distance from individuals outside of their household while at the park.
- Individuals are asked to stay home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or illness.
- Visitors may access the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge crossing from the Northwest Military park entrance (8400 NW Military Highway) via the Savanna Loop trail or from the Blanco Road entrance (13203 Blanco Road) via the Water Loop trail. Park greeters will be on hand to help direct visitors to the Land Bridge.
- The shortest distances along the trails to the Land Bridge are half a mile. Visitors should prepare to walk at least one-mile roundtrip.
- Visitors should bring plenty of water to drink, wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.
- Parking for the Land Bridge and Phil Hardberger Park is available at both park entrances and at 1201 Voelcker Ln.; however, it is limited. Parking is not available on Wurzbach Parkway.
- The park is also accessible via the Salado Creek Greenway. Cyclists are welcome on the bridge but must walk their bicycles across.
- Hardberger Park’s new Skywalk feature, an elevated walkway which gently climbs through the treetops connecting pedestrians with the Land Bridge, is still under construction and is set to open before the end of the year. It will not be accessible opening weekend.
- City of San Antonio Parks & Recreation Department staff will be on-site to help guide people and educate visitors on the importance of trail etiquette in our natural areas and will offer take-home packets with nature-based activities to commemorate the historic bridge opening.
For more information about the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge and Phil Hardberger Park, please visit philhardbergerpark.org and saparksandrec.com