Contractor commits to make improvements on St. Mary’s Strip by day’s end following bar owners’ complaints

SAN ANTONIO – Following months of frustrations from business owners on the St. Mary’s Strip, the contractor promised District 1 City Councilman Mario Bravo that pedestrian-friendly improvements would be completed by the day’s end.

Bravo walked the popular strip on Wednesday with City Manager Erik Walsh, the project manager from SpawGlass and City of San Antonio Public Works inspectors, according to a release from Bravo’s office.

Bravo said the contractor agreed to make the following improvements:

  • Potential trip hazards are being eliminated.
  • Additional orange safety fencing is being installed to delineate construction areas from pedestrian walkways.
  • Excess water is being pumped out.
  • When construction is completed for the day, the city will run street sweepers.

“While construction is ongoing, we are making efforts to make the area more pedestrian friendly. These businesses struggled through the pandemic and now through ongoing construction, but they are still open for business and ready to celebrate the holidays with you. Please come out and show them some support, and also remember to be respectful to the neighbors nearby,” Bravo said.

Business owners have been complaining that they are losing business due to road closures and extensive road construction along St. Mary’s Street.

Aaron Peña, owner of the Squeezebox, told KSAT this week that businesses are almost at a breaking point and many employees are looking for jobs elsewhere because their income has dropped.

“I’m thinking that a lot of bars, including myself and restaurants — any nightlife, hospitality that’s on this street — will not make it past this next year,” Peña said.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg told KSAT during the 6 p.m. Q&A on Tuesday that the project was being expedited. He’s hopeful the construction will be finished by March 2023.

“We are putting the pressure on the contractor to get this job done,” Nirenberg said. “They’ve been through COVID. They’ve been through, you know, policy wrangling. They’ve been through a lot of things that have been challenging.”

Bravo has said he wants to look at potential financial assistance for impacted businesses.

“I had a conversation with the city manager and the mayor about that yesterday, and they’re exploring solutions right now. And I hope to hear back from them in the next week or two,” Bravo said.

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