AUSTIN (KXAN) — A construction project in northwest Austin is hitting a snag, with the discovery of caves.
Crews are working on a project in front of McNeil High School meant to bring water to the northern parts of Austin.
“The latest cave was approximately five feet deep by 25 feet wide, which is pretty significant when it comes to caves,” said Courtney Black, a spokesperson for the Austin Public Works Department.
“Definitely didn’t expect it to be over here,” said Armando Roman, who lives near the site. “I drive past here everyday.”
You can’t blame Armando for not knowing about the caves, neither did the construction workers.
Now, crews are trying to catch up on time.
“So the only thing it affected was, generally speaking, the timeline, which probably pushed it back a couple days,” said Black.
Black says when a discovery like this happens, the site has to have a kind of environmental assessment.
Black also says crews do geological survey before starting a project like this. Still, sometimes they don’t truly know what’s underneath the ground until they start digging.
Crews expect to open a second entrance to the high school this week.
Although the one cave may not cause too much delay, the project near McNeil High School is about two months off schedule.
The city attributes that to caves and dense, large rocks.
School at McNeil High School starts on August 26th.
The project would have originally ended about a week later, on September 1.
Now, the construction will keep going for more than two months into the school year. It is supposed to wrap up by November 1.
Austin will be helping direct traffic before and after school, according to a city press release.
Money from the Austin Water Utility is supposed to pay for the $21 million project.