SAN ANTONIO – The wet weather is highlighting the chronic flooding problems at Broadway and Hildebrand that the city is finally going to fix. On Monday, the city started an 18-month project to fix the drainage system.
An estimated 60,000 drivers go through the intersection every day. Even with just the light rain that feel Tuesday, drivers had a tough time going through standing water. The 50-year-old drainage system just can’t keep up anymore. Call it the Splash Zone.
“The cars pass by and the water splashes,” pedestrian Juan Pina says.
For pedestrians like him who are tired of getting drenched, the drainage project can’t finish soon enough.
"A year and a half sounds like a long time but at least they're taking initiative to try to fix this problem,” Pina says.
The problem is standing water taking up at least one lane of the street. It comes from the homes east of Broadway.
"Then it comes through this intersection and it does a lot of flooding here,” city engineer Mike Frisbie says.
He says the water gets to the San Antonio River eventually, but not before making its own river in the street. The city’s $15.5 million fix includes installing additional, larger inlets on several streets.
"It's going to take that water right underground into a pipe system so it's not sitting there in the street,” Frisbie says.
The underground culverts will feed water into the San Antonio River where it belongs. Until that happens, Pina is asking drivers: really – leave him high and dry.
"They're not the ones out here walking,” Pina says.
Over the next 18 months city crews will remove the power lines above the intersection and install new ones that will be buried underground. That measure should reduce area power outages during big storms.