Texas firm to design new River Walk-style park on US-Mexico border

A Texas architecture and design firm is leading work on a park project that would straddle the US-Mexico border and create a River Walk-style attraction.

San Antonio-based Overland Partners recently was awarded a contract worth nearly $190,000 of the City of Laredo to provide a comprehensive concept and architectural renderings for the bi-national park.

As expected now, the 6.2-mile park would run parallel to the border of the city of Laredo in southern Texas and its Mexican neighbor, Nuevo Laredo. The park, which spans more than 1,000 acres, would stretch along the banks of the Rio Grande River in Texas and the Rio Bravo River in Mexico. A pedestrian bridge could connect the two sides of the park.

Early estimates indicate the binational park could cost more than $100 million. There is no timeline for starting or completing work on the project.

“This project will save the Rio Grande by improving its ecology and the quality of our main source of water. It will also strengthen tourism, security, economic prosperity, our binational ties with Mexico, and quality of life,” Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said recently. say it Laredo Morning Hours. “Both cities are eager to present this project on a binational level and as a model to the world with the aim of maintaining “Los Dos Laredos” as a river, a community. »

The Laredo-Nuevo Laredo metropolitan area is home to over 636,000 people.

Laredo officials describe the proposed park as a “unique international landmark.” Developers hope the park will become a popular attraction like San Antonio’s famous 15-mile River Walk, which opened in 1941 and now draws more than 15 million visitors a year. Because of his ties to the River Walk, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg joined discussions about the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo project.

“Rivers are sources of life. They are sources of culture, heritage and history, and when welcomed can be a place where people gather and come together,” said the Laredo Morning Hours quoted Nirenberg as saying in December. “So the work that will take place on this beautiful bi-national park that brings life and importance to this critical river is again an opportunity for us to establish an important future that the United States has with Mexico.”

In addition to the mayors of Laredo and San Antonio, major backers of the binational project include Ken Salazar, the US Ambassador to Mexico; Esteban Moctezuma, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States; Deanna Kim, United States Consul General in Nuevo Laredo; and Carmen Lilia Canturosas, Mayor of Nuevo Laredo.

In February, representatives from Overland Partners and architectural firm Laredo Able City unveiled a preliminary site plan and first renderings of the binational park. The companies are coordinating with the binational task force, a public-private consortium, on the project.

“This park is a real solution to pressing challenges on both sides of the border – challenges that we as design professionals need to solve in a sustainable and inspiring way,” says Overland Partners.

Michael J. Chiaramonte