Project aims to restore Shoal Creek after years of flood damage

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Shoal Creek Restoration Project, which will extend the bike path and create more field space on the Shoal Creek Corridor from 15th to 28th Street, will begin construction on Monday.

The project will also stabilize 3,000 linear feet of the creek bank, relocate wastewater lines from the creek bed and provide storm water treatment for water quality and improve vegetation and trails along the sides of the creek. The city changed their design after the public comment period ended to add an underpass to the hike and bike lane and create more field space at Custer Meadows. Currently, the hike and bike path stops and pedestrians and cyclists must cross over to at the Windsor and 24th Street intersection. Originally, Custer Meadows was intended to be a rainwater catchment.

Trail users like Frank Foerster look forward to the improvement. Since the 1970s, Foerster has taken weekly walks along Shoal Creek.

“I’m all for the improvements,” said Frank Foerster, Austin resident. “It’s a good resource in the middle of the city for people.”

Shoal Creek is a large, flood-prone waterway that carries water from north of U.S. Highway 183 downstream approximately 10 miles to Lady Bird Lake. Over the years, some sections of the creek bank have eroded and threatened trees and trails. The erosion also affects the water quality of Shoal Creek.

“We’re changing the way we manage storm water within the park,” said Morgan Byers with the Watershed Protection Department. “Instead of sending pipes straight into the creek, we’re creating certain areas that are currently park use areas but just changing the way the topography is graded to help the storm water soak in the ground.”

The restoration project will take 18 months to complete and comes with a $6.2 million price tag, funded by the Drainage Utility Fee and Urban Structural Control Funds.

Byers warns fencing and pedestrian detours will go up starting Monday.

 

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