The United States’ largest wildlife crossing, the 150-foot wide (45-meter) Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge which connects San Antonio’s Phil Hardberger Park across a six-lane highway, is now open much to the joy of animals and people alike.
The project had been many years in the making, and now, after a decade, two sides of the Texas park have finally come together, providing a safe passage for the wildlife around.
The structure was a public-private effort
The bridge was built to connected two halves of the 330-acre (1.33546 square kilometers) Phil Hardberger Park and it has been under construction since 2018. At 23 million dollars, the structure was funded through both donations and a bond package, making it a public-private endeavor.
"The land bridge is 150 feet wide and approximately the same distance across," a parks department spokesperson told HuffPost. "It's designed at that size to accommodate both people and animals, and we believe it is both the only and the largest built for this dual purpose."
The idea for the bridge was first thought out before the park even opened, back in 2010, before the park had even opened, EcoWatch reported. Since the park managers knew that the highway would fracture the habitat and put the animals at risk, a wildlife crossing was an absolute must.
Now, the park managers are hoping that the bridge will reconnect the wildlife and reduce the collisions between animals and automobiles.
The Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge is united! The trail over the Land Bridge is now open! You are invited to come experience your city's newest landmark.— Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy (@hardbergerpark) December 11, 2020
Check out our Know Before You Go article to plan your trip: https://t.co/BnnRguwsUP pic.twitter.com/uIzkObTuFV
"For many years, the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge was only a dream. Thanks to overwhelming community support of the 2017 Bond, the generosity of donors from across the city and the hard work and dedication of so many, the vision is now a reality," former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger celebrated in a press release by the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation.
The construction barriers have been removed, and the bridge will soon be covered with native trees and plants, properly connecting the park and the wildlife.
The below video has some construction footage that you might want to check out:
According to the construction workers on site, the animals have already started wandering onto the bridge, per the Drive. The Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge is a splendid addition to the numerous wildlife crossings across the world which you might also want to check out.