SUBMITTED PHOTO by DON ANDERS
The pedestrian bridge offers a new view of the river and safe access through the parks for pedestrians and bicycles near Hopkins Streets.
From the city of San Marcos
Using two 300-ton hydraulic cranes, contractors installed the new pedestrian bridge spanning the San Marcos River Saturday, completing the $841,918 Hopkins Street sidewalk and bridge project.
The bridge will provide safe passage for pedestrians and bicycle riders from San Marcos Plaza Park over the river to City Park where it connects with sidewalks to the Activity Center and San Marcos Public Library. The pedestrian bridge is just north of Hopkins Street.
“We are delighted that the bridge will be in place in time for the biggest community event of the year in San Marcos—Sights & Sounds of Christmas Dec. 4-6,” said City Manager Rick Menchaca. “This project has been a united team effort of our Public Services, Community Services, Community Development, and
Neighborhood Services Departments and the support of the City Council.”The weathered steel bridge is 195 feet long and weighs 52 tons. The bridge was manufactured in Minnesota and transferred to Alabama where its four sections were assembled. The large sections were then trucked to San Marcos on Friday.
Workers from Alamo Crane Company and Shaffer Concrete Company connected the bridge sections, two on each bank, on Friday.
On Saturday morning, the finishing touches were put on the sections, and around 11:30 a.m., one crane lifted the first half of the bridge into the air and suspended it over the river. The second half was then lifted over the trees and connected to the first segment by about 12:45 p.m.
“The bridge is environmentally-friendly weathered steel, with a natural patina,” said Oscar Hairell, Public Services Operations Manager who coordinated the project. “It will not be painted to avoid any impact on the San Marcos River.”
The project was funded with $517,045 in Community Development Block Grant funds and the balance from City capital improvements funds. The City obtained state environmental and historical permits for the project because of its location over the environmentally sensitive San Marcos River.
The bridge abutments were engineered by Klotz Associates, Inc. and the bridge manufactured by Contech Bridge Solutions, Inc., of Alexandria, Minn.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be scheduled in the near future.