Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge at Phil Hardberger Park

San Antonio, TX

Robert Tobin Land Bridge at Hardberger Park

Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge at Phil Hardberger Park

SpawGlass has a portfolio that overflows with unique construction projects spanning more than six decades. Opened to the public late last year and officially completed in early 2021, the Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge at Phil Hardberger Park in San Antonio has become one of our most historical and complex projects to date. 

The Land Bridge, which is known as the largest of its kind in the United States, stretches over Wurzbach Parkway at 165 feet wide by 160 feet long, with about 120,000 cubic yards of dirt onsite. The project features a walking trail where nature lovers may stop to admire all manner of four-legged and winged critters while suspended above the San Antonio roadway. Complementing the land bridge is an ADA-compliant sky walk fabricated by Wilburn Steel that climbs upwards of 18 feet high, weaving park-goers above a treetop canopy and onto the bridge’s main trail. Additionally, a pair of carefully crafted wildlife viewing blinds located on either side of the walking trail allows for even more wild and plant life gazing opportunities. 

A key factor leading to the bridge’s construction was reducing motorist and wildlife collisions in the Wurzbach Parkway area while serving as a connector for Hardberger Park’s east and west sides. Former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger expressed monumental expectations for our team to meet upon substantial completion. 

“He wants people to come to see The Alamo and then come see the Land Bridge,” Project Manager Robbie Keithley said. “So, we really wanted to have an iconic look and feel to it. Rialto Studio coordinated with Stephen Stimson and Associates Architecture to capture the vision through their design, and our Civil team and business partners like W&W/AFCO Steel and Mundo Verde worked together to give shape to the vision.” 

The bridge consists of 16 arched girders that reach across the road in a single span with no support columns, creating an unforgettable appearance. This unique shape, size and location presented several hurdles for SpawGlass team members to overcome during construction of the project. 

A considerable challenge faced throughout the construction process was ensuring minimal slowdowns for commuters traveling Wurzbach Parkway. 

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“We had to do weekend closures when we set the massive steel girders,” Superintendent Stephen Raley said. “We also did a lot of nightly closures when we formed the deck. Because of the uniqueness of the design, there has never been anything done like this before. It wasn’t a typical highway bridge structure, so it was interesting.” 

Robbie credits the success of the project to team members living teamwork alongside Stephen’s professional guidance. 

City of San Antonio Public Works Department Director/City Engineer Razi Hosseini attested to our team members’ cooperation in a letter addressed to SpawGlass Chairman/CEO Joel Stone. 

“The effort dedicated by SpawGlass was vital to the successful completion of this project,” Hosseini said. “Your firm knows what it means to be a leader and to work together to meet the construction needs in our community. I look forward to future collaborations.” 

This project is a landmark accomplishment in which we can take pride in our team’s ability to take a vision and bring it to fruition for the entire community to enjoy. 

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