City promises long-term fix for downtown flooding problems
SAN ANTONIO – Every time it rains, a business along Broadway finds the street turning into a lake. Workers there turned to the News 4 Trouble Shooters for helping getting it fixed.
"We specialize in printing blueprints, special occasions. banners, we do all that,” says Roger Carrillo from ARC Document Solutions as he moves oversize paper through an industrial printer.
He took a break from churning out documents to show us what he recently documented right outside the door.
"We need help here. It happens like this every time it floods,” Carrillo narrates a video of street flooding he recorded on his cell phone. "See that. All the way down Broadway and Sixth Street."
He and his coworkers say for years, the intersection of Broadway and Sixth has flooded every time it rains. When it gets really bad, the city sends a truck to suction out water - a Band-Aid, not prevention.
"As you can see, our windows, we have to get them cleaned every time and it takes time and it takes money,” Carrillo says while pointing to the dust-coated glass. “We're just tired of it. Hopefully you guys, you Trouble Shooters, can get the Mayor to do something or someone, you know, at the city. Because we're just getting tired of it."
The Trouble Shooters took his video to the city to get some answers.
"We are addressing it how we can right now, but it's just a Band-Aid,” says Paul Berry, the spokesman for the city’s Transportation and Capital Improvements Department.
He promises a long-term solution is in the works: a $56 million bond project to transform Broadway not just outside the business, but along a four-mile stretch from Houston Street to Austin Highway.
"When the Broadway project is complete, you won't recognize it,” Berry says. “It will be good for vehicles. It will be good for bikes. It will be good for pedestrians. And it will be good for drainage. As a matter of fact, it will be addressed up to the 25-year rainfall."
The city’s going to tackle Lower Broadway first. Right now the project is in the design phase, and public meetings are expected to be held early next year.
It's a huge project, so progress is still years away. But Carrillo’s relieved the city is finally listening.
"Something needs to be done,” he says.
By EMILY BAUCUM