AUSTIN (KXAN) — A big restoration project gets under way Monday along Shoal Creek.
It’s happening between 15th and 28th streets.
That means commuters on Lamar Boulevard may see a few more walkers and bikers on the sidewalks over the next 18 months.
The restoration project will be completed in three phases with the first taking place along the Shoal Creek Trail between 19th Street and Claire.
Crews will stabilize the banks that have been washed away during many times of heavy rain with new limestone rocks.
They will also remove a quarter mile of sanitary sewer that was installed back in the 1930s.
The trail north of 24th Street will be a porous concrete in order to absorb some of the runoff.
And pipes will not be directed right into the creek.
Instead, portions of the park land will have its topography changed so the runoff can be absorbed by the ground.
“To help the storm water soak in the ground, filtrate, water the trees, and eventually have cleaner water in Shoal Creek,” said Morgan Byers, Watershed Protection Department.
Bikers will also be able to avoid the lights and intersection at 24th Street when the project is complete.
“So people coming down Lamar on a bicycle don’t even need to stop, they can just go right underneath the bridge without stopping. So from a mobility stand point it’s a huge improvement for the City of Austin,” said Byers.
This project is a long time coming.
A master plan was developed back in 2001 but planning for it didn’t start in earnest until five years ago.
The total project will take 18 months to complete. The total cost is $6.2 million from the Watershed Protection Department’s budget.