The recently opened Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge in San Antonio is all about making commute safer for humans, but more importantly, for animals and wildlife.
Built over Wurzbach Parkway, the bridge which opened in December connects two parts of the previously separate 330-acre Phil Hardberger Park.
Hardberger park is home to coyotes, racoons, lizards, deer and ringtails among other wildlife and there have been multiple reported instances of animals in danger of being run over by cars.
Created specially to prevent wildlife from walking right onto the road, the aim of the bridge is to avoid accidents between cars and deer or any other animal that finds itself caught in vehicular traffic. The bridge is also expected to make it easier for animals to reach their watering holes in the park.
It is designed for both, animal and human use and with a width of 150 feet at the top and 165 feet at the base is touted to be among the longest such wildlife crossing bridge ever made.
Former San Antonio mayor and judge Phil Hardberger had said of this bridge, “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.”
Since the purpose of the bridge is to reduce human-animal accidents, cars are not allowed on the connector. You can, however walk your bikes up the six-lane pathway to ensure that the trail is crossed safely.
Before you visit the park this weekend, be sure to know that the nearest parking area on each side of the bridge is just over half a mile from the structure, which is a 15–25-minute walk.
The Hardberger park already boasts of outdoor classrooms, dog parks, multiple trails and play areas. Now, with the addition of the bridge, it has not only created a safe crossing for animals and humans, but has also introduced another way to reconnect with nature and experience a spectacular view of the park on both sides.
Native trees and shrubs will continue to grow along the bridge, soon creating a natural green cover for those passing by and local artists will be designing viewing blinds for humans to watch the animals walking on the route.
For Sanantonians, this bridge promises to be a real treat, and definitely has the makings of a new weekend attraction.
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