Pape-Dawson served as the civil engineer for this $175 million San Antonio River Authority project to transform San Pedro Creek into a linear park to preserve the creek’s cultural ecology and spark new development. Our design responsibilities included the trails, main drainage channel for San Pedro Creek, storm drain systems for off-site drainage areas, low impact development installations, utility coordination and design, and environmental clearance.
The storm drains (up to 72” pipes) and channel improvements removed approximately 40 acres of downtown San Antonio from the 100-year floodplain and mitigates surface flooding issues for water as it enters the creek. We developed a hydraulic footprint that would allow for flood mitigation benefits as well as provide sufficient room for walkways to develop the project into an amenity. We replaced the concrete channel with a natural-looking cobble bottom, laid back the slopes using mechanically stabilized earth walls and cut stone, and deliberately planted vegetation that would allow for resiliency during significant flooding events. Local drainage that entered the channel along the project was intercepted and discharged below the water surface to further create and maintain the natural channel look and feel.
The San Pedro Creek Channel, with the San Antonio River and its tributaries, forms the essential network of San Antonio’s ecology, urban form, cultural landscape, and public realm.