Nueva Street Dam, Marina and Bridge
This project, completed in September 1987, consisted of an underground boat repair and storage marina, a leaf gated flood control dam across the San Antonio River, and reconstruction of the Nueva Street Bridge. An elevated control tower on the west bank of the river is now being fitted to serve as the headquarters of the San Antonio River Tunnel control system.
The marina facility was previously located under the old main library building on St. Mary’s Street. The new marina facility is used by the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department to support river operations, and provides a docking facility for 20 dinner barges, ten maintenance barges, and two ranger patrol boats. A wood shop, sandblast booth, paint booth, and small engine repair shop help in the maintenance of the barges. A fabridam at the entrance to the marina ensures a constant level of water in the marina during flood situations. When the leaf gates drop immediately south of the marina, the fabridam inflates and maintains the water level to prevent the boats from “bottoming out.” Office space and street level parking were also provided as part of this project.
Unlike the Tainter gate that was replaced, the two new leaf gates are controlled by automatic level sensors to maintain a constant water level in the downtown river loop. The gates are designed to pass a flow rate at 14,300 cubic feet per second (cfs). The downtown side of the leaf gates are screened by a waterfall effect over the gates. The gate control tower not only contains the tunnel control system but also houses the backup generator for the dam.
The new Nueva Street Bridge provides for an extra two lanes for traffic with pedestrian walkways on either side. Maintenance vehicles access the river using the circular ramp.
The City of San Antonio paid for all costs associated with the marina while the San Antonio River Authority paid for the balance of the project at a total combined cost of $8.6 million.