The Mission Reach of the San Antonio River is still closed today but maintenance crews are making progress.
San Antonio River Authority spokesman Steven Schauer said inspections of the Mission Reach began Saturday as soon as it was safe to go out. He said maintenance began over the holiday weekend, first cleaning up the Museum Reach and then turning attention to the Mission Reach, which suffered greater damage.
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.
(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.
After a year-long flood control project had roads torn up along Sixmile Creek, Bexar County has re-opened the South Flores Bridge. With seven low-water crossings, the poor drainage around the area was a threat to nearby homes and properties during heavy rains.
It’s still nearly a year before the Mission Reach is completed, but a new stretch is now open to the public. The San Antonio River Authority and Bexar County have added an additional 1.5 mile loop near Theo Avenue and a hike and bike bridge over Concepciόn Creek.
SARA General Manager Suzanne Scott said the $3.5 million restoration of this section of the river will include the planting of new trees.