Work forced to stop at Cambria Cavern due to ground shifting at entrance

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The entrance to Cambria Cavern is shifting and some sections of the Cambria Road are also showing signs of “visible downward movement,” according to an update from Williamson County officials.

Because of the ground shifting, consultants were told Thursday they were no longer allowed to go inside the cave, which is located in a Brushy Creek neighborhood just west of Round Rock. The asphalt is currently sitting on the cave’s ceiling, which partially collapsed exactly one week ago. 

The county says its engineer will work with structural engineers to determine a way to secure the cave opening so that consultants have a safe way to enter and exit the cave.

“We’re looking at redoing the cover. If you’ve seen it, it is made out of plywood and 4×8’s and was very good for day one, but I think we need something a little bit better going forward,” Williamson County engineer Terron Evertson told Brushy Creek residents at an HOA meeting Thursday night. “We’ve got engineers, structural engineers, looking at what do we need to do to make it stable.”

By Wednesday afternoon, signs and cones had been put out around the cave’s entrance, warning neighbors to stay further away.

“We are moving our barricades back a few feet in an abundance of caution,” said Evertson in a statement.

Three homes sit on top of the 200-foot-long cave that is 22 feet deep. The county says when utility lines were installed 30 years ago, it weakened part of the cave ceiling, which may have caused the collapse.

At the HOA meeting, dozens of residents showed up to ask Evertson questions. Some asked when the county would have an idea of how engineers plan to secure the cave. Evertson said the county is waiting for feedback from the TCEQ and Texas Parks and Wildlife before engineers can determine how they will fill or fix the opening.

Cambria Road at Ephraim Road will remain closed for several more weeks while the county work with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the remediation effort.

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