Home Northside SA Skywalk gives Hardberger Park another view from the top

Skywalk gives Hardberger Park another view from the top

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Public officials, special guests and community members are the first to traverse the newly opened Skywalk at the Hardberger Park land bridge. Photos by Edmond Ortiz

Veering from the center of the Hardberger Park land bridge, a 1,000-foot-long elevated walkway gently winds through the tree canopy and offers visitors additional unique aerial views.

The Skywalk, which opened Monday, April 5, climbs 18 feet off the ground and rests on weathered steel supports that match the finishes of some features of the land bridge, which opened in December 2020 to span Wurzbach Parkway and link two halves of the park.

“The Skywalk is one of the most unique features of the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge. I like to describe it as zip-line powered by your feet,” said the park’s namesake, former Mayor Phil Hardberger.

Public officials, special guests and community members are the first to traverse the newly opened Skywalk at the Hardberger Park land bridge. Photos by Edmond Ortiz

The Skywalk’s 6-foot width ensures plenty of room for pedestrians to pass each other, and a shaded seating area in the middle provides a place to relax and watch wildlife. 

The Skywalk’s debut marks the completion of construction of the Tobin Land Bridge, itself a crossing designed for humans and wildlife.

Visitors may access the Skywalk from the Northwest Military Highway park entrance via the Savannah Loop trail or from the Blanco Road entry from the Water Loop trail.

Guests joining Hardberger at the Skywalk opening ceremony included current Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, filmmaker/author John Phillip Santos, and Bruce Bugg who, as Tobin Endowment chairman and trustee, played a key role helping to secure private funding for land-bridge construction.

The ceremony also was attended by District 8 Councilman Manny Peláez and District 9 Councilman John Courage, Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy Executive Director Denise Gross, and Chuck Saxer, conservancy executive committee vice president.

Nirenberg thanked Hardberger and other community advocates for rallying support to develop Hardberger Park and construction of the land bridge. Nirenberg also said Hardberger, a celebrated jurist, has achieved many milestones during his life and career.

“But I think this land bridge is the icing on the cake of an incredible public-service career in San Antonio,” he added. 

Wolff recalled when the bridge construction bids arrived, he suggested to Hardberger they solicit new bids because the submitted amounts seemed high. 

Wolff noted Hardberger immediately asked him to consider the costs of building India’s iconic Taj Mahal.

The Skywalk at the Hardberger Park land bridge opened to the public Monday, April 5. From left are councilmen John Courage and Manny Peláez, Bruce Bugg, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, former Mayor Phil Hardberger, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, John Phillip Santos and city Parks and Recreation Director Homer Garcia. Photo by Edmond Ortiz

“Time is as important as money and the investment you make, regardless of what those dollars are, is paid back in the long term,” Wolff added.

Bugg commended Hardberger for his tenacity in spearheading the park’s creation, the land bridge and now Skywalk.

“This is something that San Antonians, for centuries to come, will enjoy and it’s because of your vision and leadership,” Bugg told Hardberger.

According to Santos, the Skywalk adds to Hardberger Park’s collection of trails that help visitors reconnect with nature and the area’s history, which includes a 19th-century German homestead and dairy barn.

Many believe native Americans may have sheltered along Salado Creek, which winds through the park. 

“When we come into the park, we’re seeking well-being, maybe drop a pound or two, see if we can release some anxiety, but we’re also communing with our ancestors, communing with the deep past of this place,” he added.

eortiz@localcommunitynews.com

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