Council member and candidate for mayor Greg Brockhouse today called on the City to drop its seven year long effort to build a residential development next to the historic Hays street Bridge and return the property to the neighborhood, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Since 2012, the City has been embroiled in a legal battle over an effort by a developer to build a high dollar development next to the historic 19th Century bridge spanning the rail yard east of downtown. The historic span was actually moved to San Antonio to accommodate a demand by San Antonio City Council in 1910 that before the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway could build a track in San Antonio it had to insure that citizens could travel from downtown to the east side unimpeded.
The bridge is on the Federal Register of Historic Places, and has been a symbol of the city's east side for decades. Currently, the bridge is a community meeting area overlooking the downtown area, with picnics, events, and plenty of photos of children taken on the span.
Preservation groups say the development would destroy the bridge as a tourist attraction.
"The only way to restore public trust is to drop all legal challenges, stop wasting public tax dollars and help the Restoration Group and neighboring community reclaim their landmark and public space," Brockhouse said.
He said it is time for San Antonio taxpayers to stop footing the bill for 'frivolous lawsuits' meant to 'protect the politically connected friends of the Mayor and former City Manager.'
The City, in a statement, said it is in compliance with court rulings demanding that the money that was received from the sale of the bridge to go to its restoration, which the City has done. In a statement, the City said a State Supreme Court ruling over the City's request for sovereign immunity 'does not impact current or future development in the area.'