Transportation planners have approved spending over $9 million for an east-west pedestrian connector via the Brooks campus.
At a recent meeting, a board of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) signed off on plans to build the Brooks Green Loop project, which will connect several landmarks and trails on the South Side of San Antonio.
The 8-mile loop will provide a route for pedestrians and cyclists to safely travel through the area and more easily access the San Antonio missions, Greenline Park at Brooks, the Salado Creek Greenway and the planned Arboretum San Antonio.
A trail at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park will be fully paved and a trail built in a draining area beneath Interstate 37. Existing pathways at Brooks will be upgraded, said a Brooks spokeswoman.
The project is estimated to cost $9.3 million and will be funded through the AAMPO’s Transportation Improvement Program’s fiscal year 2025-28 list of projects. Adoption of the budget is expected in June.
The idea for the loop first began with the goal to connect the Greenline to the city’s larger linear park system to the west of Brooks, said Leo Gomez, president and CEO of Brooks. “As we accomplished that, we began to think about doing the same to the east which was much more of a challenge” because of I-37.
A section of the Brooks Green Loop will be created by paving the San Juan Acequia Trail, which traverses directly behind Mission San Juan.
“Connecting World Heritage sites to the energetic Brooks campus and beyond will bring countless benefits to the thousands of annual visitors who visit the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park,” stated Karla Gurgiolo, executive director of Mission Heritage Partners, which proposed the project in partnership with Brooks.
Brooks completed its Greenline linear park and trails in 2018 and a quarter-mile trail extension in 2021 that connected Brooks to a 30-mile hike-and-bike path that runs from Mission Reach Trail to Brackenridge Park.
Planning for a park devoted to trees on the Southeast Side near Brooks began in 2022, after the concept of the Green Loop came about, Gomez said. With the land acquired last year and fundraising underway, Arboretum San Antonio is expected to be completed in 2026 or 2027.
Read more about the trails and parks in and around San Antonio at The Trailist.
Brooks CEO Leo Gomez is a member of the San Antonio Report’s board of directors.