AUSTIN (KXAN) — When the city of Austin closed down the parking lot at Auditorium Shores in November of last year they stated it would only take seven months to complete the job with an opening slated for some time in June. Nearly a year later, the parking lot is still closed and was supposed to reopen Thursday but KXAN learned it’s now been pushed back again.
“The grand opening of the Auditorium Shores Trailhead has been delayed because of issues related to the contract close-out process,” said Marty Stump, Project Management Supervisor, Austin Parks and Recreation Department. “The City continues to work with the contractor to address remaining work items so that the facility can be re-opened to the public.”
The parking lot is a big deal for people who use the trail. A study found most trail users access the path by either the parking lot under Mopac or at Auditorium Shores.
The city closed the lot in order to beautify it and make some environmental improvements like re-grading the parking lot so the runoff from rain doesn’t drain directly into Lady Bird Lake.
“The way it works is the storm water is filtered through rain water gardens so by the time it hits the lake the oil and things like that are filtered out,” said Susan Rankin, Executive Director of the Trail Foundation.
Stump said the number one issue for the delay is the new bathroom facility not being complete.
“The remaining work on the restroom building is because of unforeseen conditions related to the adjoining wastewater line which had to be repaired in order to activate the facility. The contractor is actively working to address these issues as well as minor items related to final inspection so that the facility can re-open to the public.”
But a new date hasn’t been set. City staff said they plan to meet next week to hopefully come up with a date but it all hinges on when the city can inspect the new bathroom.
“Once a certificate of occupancy is obtained, the City will open the Auditorium Shores Trailhead for public use,” said Stump.
The $2.2 million renovation was funded partially through a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant and the other half coming from the city. The Trail Foundation also chipped in $350,000. Stump said the cost of the delays are within budget.
“The cost of this project is within the limits of the City Council approved authority to spend under the original construction contract. City staff continues to work with the consultant and contractor to keep costs to a minimum and will deliver this project without needing to seek additional authority,” said Stump.
KXAN will keep you posted on the opening date.