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PORT SA WATCH: $100 Million in Capital Improvements Underway

A new road project is underway at Port San Antonio, marking a key step in the organization’s efforts to attract and grow key industries in the region.  The San Antonio Transportation and Capital Improvements Department (TCI) has begun demolishing several obsolete buildings, totaling more than 40,000 square feet, in the heart of the former Air Force base. This is the first step in extending 36th Street by an additional half mile toward the south. Upon completion in late 2016, the new road will intersect with General Hudnell Drive—providing the 1,900-acre property with redundant road connections in support of growing logistics activity.  The road will now end near large facilities where many of Port San Antonio’s major employers are located. They include expansive aircraft maintenance workshops as well as several Air Force headquarter operations where most of the port’s 12,000 daily commuters work. The road also supports the future development of industrial and mixed-use sites in the heart of the property.

Demolition work is beginning along parts of 36th Street in Port San Antonio. Courtesy photo
Demolition work is beginning along parts of 36th Street in Port San Antonio.
Courtesy photo

“The addition of modern infrastructure at the Port is essential to support our customers and attract important new employers,” said Port San Antonio President/CEO Roland Mower in a news release. “The transformation of our large platform into a 21st century economic engine for the region is a true community effort. We thank the city for its longstanding and steadfast support.” “The port is a true community asset,” said District 4 City Councilman Rey Saldaña, whose District 4 includes the section of Port San Antonio where the new road is being built. “Investing in the ongoing evolution of the port enhances the productivity of thousands of people who already work there in many vibrant industries. It also lays the foundation to attract good job opportunities for upcoming generations of San Antonians.” The latest phase of 36th Street is part of a $60-million road construction effort that began 10 years ago. Between 2005 to 2012, three construction phases widened and extended 36th Street by nearly two miles—from U.S. Highway 90 to its current endpoint at Billy Mitchell Boulevard.

Previously finished new sections of 36th Street, a key corridor at Port San Antonio. Courtesy photo
Previously finished new sections of 36th Street, a key corridor at Port San Antonio.
Courtesy photo

Funding and construction partners over the years have included the local Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The port also oversaw design of the project while the city and TxDOT managed construction of past phases.  The upcoming extension was made possible from $6 million obtained through the 2012 San Antonio municipal bond program; the port contributed an additional $3 million to the current effort. The road-building work now underway is part of more than $100 million in recent, ongoing and upcoming capital projects at the business park. In August, the organization announced that $5 million have been secured through city, federal and port funding to prepare more than 170 acres adjacent to the site’s runway. That section of the port is suited for the construction of hangars, workshops and manufacturing facilities.

Bexar Witness Port SA Aerial

Additional activities throughout the property include significant investments by the organization’s customers, public entities and the port itself. Among them is the addition of more than $10 million in rail infrastructure to support logistics for the region’s energy, construction and retail industries.

Elsewhere at Port San Antonio, public utilities San Antonio Water System and CPS Energy are making upgrades to power and water distribution systems, totaling more than $17 million.   Furthermore, improvements to hangar and workshop facilities totaling nearly $35 million allow aerospace tenants to accommodate additional new business.

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