Hildebrand Avenue is now a one-way eastbound street from U.S. 281 to N. New Braunfels Avenue to accommodate a $15.5 million flood control and roadway improvement project initiated by the city of San Antonio.
The road will remain a one-way for the duration of the 18-month project and could pose issues for motorists traveling to and from Broadway Avenue, possibly affecting businesses.
“Trinity students and faculty might start to go elsewhere,” said Christine Drennon, director of the urban studies program. “And since the closures are for 18 months, they might not go back once the road re-opens. It’s going to be a hassle, but the struggle is really for small businesses, it’s only an inconvenience for Trinity Students.”
The road closure could lead to increased traffic on Mulberry Avenue, since motorists will no longer be able to go west on Hildebrand.
“I was getting Chipotle the other day, and I had to come back using Mulberry,” said junior Chris Skrivanos. “It took a lot longer than usual to get back to Trinity, probably because everyone is using Mulberry now. It’s something I’m going to consider when I go out to eat. Maybe I’ll go somewhere else.”
According to the managers of some local businesses on Broadway, the recent changes to Hildebrand are not visibly affecting their sales.
“Actually, it didn’t really affect us at all. Most of our business comes from Fort Sam or other businesses on Broadway,” said Sean Sullivan, manager of the Chipotle on Broadway. “I think it’s going to stay constant. Maybe people coming off of 281 will stop coming here. But, there’s another Chipotle that’s right off 281, so we aren’t forseeing that it will really impact us at all.”
Likewise,Weldon Marphiljohni, the manager of Whataburger on Broadway, does not expect the road closure to affect their business very much.
“I haven’t seen a downturn [in business],” Marphiljohni said.
The road closure comes aftera legal struggle that went to the Texas Supreme Court and delayed construction for just over a year.
“The construction has been through court; it has been highly controversial,” Drennon said.
At the conclusion of the project in 2014, Broadway and Hildebrand will feature widened roads, traffic signal upgrades and sidewalk and driveway improvements. It will also alleviate many of the flooding problems that the streets currently have.