AUSTIN (KXAN) — After eight months of construction to improve Barton Springs Pool, the work is complete.
Yet, those improvements were three years in the works because of community feedback, which fueled a lot of the decisions about how the pool and grounds should look.
The $3 million project included upgrades to the main entrance on the northern side. Before, the area only had decomposed granite for a walkway.
And with 750,000 people coming to the pool every year, it compacted the soil over time — hurting the tree roots.
Crews removed that compacted soil, replaced it and installed a suspended walkway so that it doesn’t disturb the roots of the heritage pecans.
Around the perimeter, crews installed a new fence. The chain link fence near the dog wash was replaced, making it easy for staff to move it before a flood.
The electrical wires that ran along the side of the pool were taken down and replaced with new flood lights.
All new grass was put in, along with an irrigation system that pulls water from the spring so that water runs back into the pool.
And because water runoff was a concern, the dirt parking lot on the southern side was replaced.
“By paving the parking lot, we can control where the water goes. So now, it goes into athletic fields that we also maintain to allow the water to permeate before it hits the springs,” said Robin Camp, Public Works Department project management.
New bike rakes and public art were added.
The Hike and Bike Trail that ran along the southern edge was moved back to allow more space between the trees and where patrons walked. Those changes added about half an acre to the ground space at the pool.
Another big change is a new ADA ramp on the southern side.
“Which also brings everyone in a safer way, instead of down a rutted alley — a rutted, rooted, muddy alley that also put mud into the springs,” said Camp.
Meanwhile, portions of the southern lawn area will remain closed while the grass continues to grow.
The city originally planned to hold a celebration at 10 a.m. Wednesday, but officials postponed it due to rain.