Hays Street Bridge: Then and Now

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From a vehicular bridge in the 1900s to a pedestrian bridge in modern times, the historic Hays Street Bridge has been an important connector in the history of San Antonio and the City’s East Side. Learn more about the timeline of this historic bridge and its importance to San Antonio.


The Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad was pushing west from San Antonio. To aid with that expansion, the Phoenix Bridge Co. was contracted to build railroad bridges over rivers. The company built a bridge over the Nueces River west of Uvalde that would later move to San Antonio and become the Hays Street Bridge.

Hays Street Bridge


In the early 1900s the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad was in the midst of an expansion westward and asked the City of San Antonio for permission to cross the East Side streets with their mainlines. To make sure residents of the East Side still had access to downtown, the City required the railroad companies to build a bridge over the railroad tracks for horse-drawn carriages and later motorized vehicles. To save costs, the railroad company relocated the bridge from Uvalde to San Antonio.

Hays Street Bridge


As vehicle traffic increased, the Hays Street Bridge was deemed unsafe and later closed.

Hays Street Bridge


After being unused for decades, the San Antonio Conservation Board decided to support the project of restoring the Hays Street Bridge.

Hays Street Bridge


The Hays Street Bridge was designated a Texas Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Hays Street Bridge


City executes documents to receive state grant moneys to restore the Bridge.

Hays Street Bridge


Union Pacific transferred the property of the Hays Street Bridge to the City of San Antonio.

Hays Street Bridge


After 28 years of being closed to the public, the Hays Street Bridge opened as a pedestrian bridge stretching from Austin Street to Cherry Street.

Hays Street Bridge

AUGUST 2, 2012

The City of San Antonio entered into a development incentive agreement with Alamo Beer Company to build a new microbrewery, administrative offices, a restaurant and beer garden, event venue and outdoor activity area located at 803 N. Cherry and 415 Burnett. Part of the agreement included sale of City-owned property located at 803 N. Cherry Street.

Hays Street Bridge

DECEMBER 3, 2014

On Dec. 3, 2014, the City modified the development incentive agreement with Alamo Beer Company to accommodate delays caused by litigation. On Dec. 18, 2014, the City appealed the District Court’s decision to the Fourth Court of Appeals.

Hays Street Bridge

March 1, 2017

Fourth Court of Appeals issued opinion finding that the City was entitled to governmental immunity, reversing the Trial Court’s decision and rendering judgment in favor of the City. Plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Texas Supreme Court.

Hays Street Bridge

DECEMBER 6, 2017

The Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) voted unanimously to deny the proposal from Loopy Limited to construct a five-story residential structure (with some pocket retail) on the vacant lot at 803 N Cherry (with some pocket retail) on the vacant lot at 803 N. Cherry.

Hays Street Bridge

MARCH 7, 2018

HDRC voted 5-3 to deny the revised proposal.

Hays Street Bridge

MARCH 23, 2018

City Manager Sheryl Sculley issued a decision letter granting a conditional approval of the project which included 11 stipulations. The applicant worked with the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association and the Design Review Committee of the HDRC to develop the design further and address the stipulations.

Hays Street Bridge

JULY 3, 2018

Finding that the stipulations had been satisfied or otherwise addressed with the working group mentioned above, a final approval (Certificate of Appropriateness) was issued by the City Manager. The Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association provided written support for the project.

Hays Street Bridge