At the very southern end of the Museum Reach sits the Lexington Avenue bridge and under that bridge is the first art installation, that of British artist Martin Richman. I reached him in London’s East End where he lives.
His art installation was a series of colored, dichroic plastic rectangles suspended under the bridge. They move in the breeze, and the lights that shine on them is reflected into the undulating water underneath the bridge. At night it’s just dazzling.
"So in a way the whole thing becomes this lively space of light and color," said Richman.
Looking at the Museum Reach today, it’s hard to even imagine the way it looked eight years ago.
"It was a trapezoidal ditch, with a very little water that ran down the middle of it," said architect Irby Hightower, who co-chaired the San Antonio River Oversight Committee with former Mayor Lila Cockrell.
Five years have passed since the Museum Reach stretch of the River Walk, which starts at the Pearl development and flows down to the Lexington Street bridge, right next to the new Tobin Center, was opened to the public. Beginning today, a series on the art-filled, artfully-executed area.
On May 30, 2009, thousands gathered on and around Brooklyn Avenue bridge in downtown San Antonio for the ceremonial opening of the Museum Reach—the completely re-imagined stretch of the San Antonio River.
The 1.3 miles of the river looked nothing like it did just four years before.
As the investigation continues into the cause of the oil spill that heavy rains carried into the San Antonio River on the final Saturday of Fiesta last month, officials say the spill has been remediated and restoration is almost complete.
They said it was a perfect storm: An unknown amount of oil spilling into the street during Fiesta, when hundreds of cars had driven up and down Broadway, and a heavy rain that washed everything down the hill on 10th Street and into the river along the east bank of the Museum Reach.
Several agencies are now investigating an oil spill that flowed into the San Antonio River at 10th Street last weekend.
So much rain came down over the weekend and Monday that it is difficult for the agencies to measure the amount of oil that washed down Avenue B to 10th Street, over the berms, through the grass, and into the river.
Tests by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have determined that the spill was petroleum oil.
The closed section of the Riverwalk on Museum Reach has been re-opened to the public. When the F.I.S.H. art installation was damaged in Monday’s windstorms, the San Antonio River Authority had to close the section of trails under the I-35 overpass.
On Tuesday crews cleaned up fallen debris from the broken F.I.S.H. and partially re-opening of one side of the river.
Wednesday, SARA re-opened the east bank of the River, noting that it may have to be closed again temporarily when repairs get underway.
(Update: 12:35 p.m.) Staffers have cleaned up the fallen pieces and SARA now says they have re-opened the west bank side of the river.
The other side -- the wider east bank of the river -- is still closed so that crews with equipment can access the sculptures for assessment and repair. Visitors can use the stairways to go up to street level and back down again on the other side.
The damage noted by SARA: One of the fish fell down completely, one is barely hanging on and some of the other seven-foot-long sculptures were broken apart by the winds.