Photo Credit: Texas Public Radio

The long-awaited Land Bridge at Phil Hardberger Park opens this week and San Antonio residents are counting down the days until it opens up. The Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge at Phil Hardberger Park in San Antonio is almost finished and will be the first wildlife bridge in the city. San Antonio residents can’t wait to see all of the positive effects that the wildlife bridge has on people, on wildlife, and on current conservation efforts.

According to a news release, San Antonio residents can expect construction barriers to be removed from the bridge that crosses over Wurzbach Parkway at 1:00 pm on December 18th, 2020. This highly anticipated bridge will connect the 330-acre park that has remained previously divided. The wildlife bridge will also be covered in native trees and plants.

Surprisingly enough, the bridge was funded through private donations and the City of San Antonio 2017-2022 Bond Program that was voted approved. Phil Hardberger, a former San Antonio Mayor, judge, and the park’s namesake says, “I am honored to invite San Antonians to come to 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.”

The beauty of the bridge is that it not only allows for both people and animals to both crosses over the busy parkway underneath but is also the largest wildlife crossing that has been constructed in the United State. Harderberger reports that he is also hopeful that the new construction addition will help animals reach watering holes that exist within the park.

This project benefits the wildlife and citizen population of San Antonio because, according to National Geographic, bridges of this sort reconnect fractured habitats, but also significantly reduce wildlife-car crashes that ensue when animals are forced to cross busy intersections.

The May of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg explains that. “We join the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy in celebrating the opening of the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge. I look forward to watching the landscape grow and mature with native trees and plants and observing wildlife through viewing blinds designed by local artists. The bridge is an amazing achievement,”

Caroline Kidd