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San Antonio River Walk and Flood Control System, 1996 HCEL
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The San Antonio River Walk & Flood Control System includes three key components: the River Walk, the “Great Bend Cutoff”, and Olmos Dam. Olmos Dam, a flood water detention facility constructed in 1927 - reaching 54 feet high and 1,941 feet long -has become an essential reservoir for the area. The River Walk area is further protected by the “Great Bend Cutoff,” comprising isolation gates at the north and south entrances from the “Great Bend Cutoff” – a bend or reservoir to the “River Loop” segment (loop in the river). The cutoff was designed by Freese and Nichols, to prevent flooding in that specific loop section and allow development to occur at the particularly charming lower bank level. The River Walk development included construction of outdoor stairways, walkways, bridges, benches, landscaping, and even an outdoor theatre - taking on the architectural style and meandering charm of an old Spanish city.

From early flood control reports to design considerations for construction, and of bridges, retaining walls, and floor of the river channel, civil engineering was essential to the development of the River Walk. The River Loop, once considered a safety hazard, is now internationally renowned as a travel destination, bringing in valuable tourist dollars to the local economy (about $2,000,000,000 a year is attracted to the area, with the Alamo and River Walk acting as the primary sights).

Owner: 
City of San Antonio
Architect: 
Robert H.H. Hugman
Engineers: 
W.H. Lilly 
  Edwin P. Arneson
Photo:
Loadmaster (David R. Tribble), GNU License



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