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Strolling the banks of San Antonio's River Walk and visiting The Alamo are two of the major reasons why many tourists choose to visit this south Texas metropolis, however, one of those major attractions is going to look very different for the next ten days.

People head to the River Walk canals below the bustling streets of downtown San Antonio to take a walk along the stone paths that are covered in a beautiful tropical landscape. While on that walk visitors will do a lot of shopping and dining right along the paths and wall of the San Antonio River. Some might even hop aboard a boat for a tour of the canals and learn some interesting history.

San Antonio River Walk will be drained beginning January 12th.

Beginning Friday though visitors of the famous River Walk will get a much different view of this landmark because two major portions of it are going to be closed off and drained. According to the San Antonio Public Works Facebook page, The San Antonio River main channel will be fully drained as part of a routine maintenance program.

The last time the river was drained for this kind of maintenance was in January 2022. The only portion not being closed during this maintenance window is the 'River Loop' segment. It will remain operational for tourist boats and other normal water traffic.

Why drain the River Walk?

In a few words, so that the river, a major tourist attraction, stays clean and vibrant. During the cleaning crews will work on removing sediment buildup, inspecting the channels' walls making necessary repairs, and removing any foreign debris and trash that has, in most cases, accidentally fallen into the river.

What objects have been found in the River Walk?

Thanks to previous drainings and cleanings, city crews have removed quite a bit of trash along with some everyday and unusual items like:

  • restaurant flatware
  • laptops
  • prayer candles
  • Mardi Gras beads
  • chairs
  • lighting fixtures
  • children's toys
  • cell phones (lots of them)
  • scooters

The cleaning of the River Walk is expected to wrap up Sunday, January 21st and the city will once again open the gates to refill the San Antonio River as it flows through the River Walk in downtown and visitors will once again get to enjoy this beautiful treasure in this gorgeous city.

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