King William neighbors, Blue Star businesses and residents, and the Pioneer Flour Mill celebrated the re-opening the S. Alamo Street Bridge with a ribbon cutting and mini-parade on a beautiful, albeit chilly, autumn morning on November 1. District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal, District 2 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, and our SARA Board representative Tom Weaver gave speeches to mark this event. The mini-parade which followed was led by Mike Casey and included a fife and drum quartet, Steve Wood of Bullet Bikes, Pioneer balloons, the HEB Cart and a police car. A construction vehicle with a “Mission Accomplished” banner brought up the rear. Once crossing the bridge, folks dispersed at Blue Star for coffee and conversation. Cherise Bell, Sue Duffy, Brad Shaw and Rose Kanusky are to be thanked for their assistance in putting this celebration together.
The efforts of the various agencies, departments and contractors responsible for this are appreciated! We are all relieved now that this major thoroughfare is open to traffic and that congestion on Guenther Street has been alleviated. A few items, such as lighting, need to be completed, so do not be surprised to see construction vehicles still working on the bridge and temporary lane changes.
In addition to the Parking Committee mentioned in the last newsletter, I am also forming a First Friday Committee. This is one of the goals of the Strategic Plan that members can view on the KWA website under the member portal. The committee will consist of residents and local business owners. The idea is not to get rid of First Friday, but to see how we might work with COSA to better manage the event and perhaps return it to its original art focus. We will include Downtown Operations, Centro, SAPD and Bexar County in this conversation.
A few residents braved the rainy weather on November 5 to attend the KWA general meeting and hear reports on projects affecting our neighborhood. Omar Gonzales and Drew Hicks (who we found out resides in KW and joined the KWA that night) gave an update on HemisFair progress. I noted a number of changes in the plans since it was first introduced about two years ago. Andi Rodriquez gave a progress report on the construction at Bonham Academy. Mary Minor, our intern, gave a very interesting report on her windshield survey of S. Alamo Street/S. St. Mary’s Street Historic District. Her report is available for viewing in the KWA office. Joan Carabin presented her book, One-of-a-Kind Judge: the Honorable Hippo Garcia. All in all, it was a very interesting evening with new and relevant information. We hope to see you at future meetings.