Engineers testing ceiling strength of Cambria Cavern

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Engineers are boring holes into a cave that opened up in a neighborhood west of Round Rock in an effort to determine the strength of the ceiling, but had to halt because of a leak in the equipment.

Surveyors were also out at the site near Ephraim Road and Cambria Drive in the Brushy Creek neighborhood, working to georeference the underground cave map to locations above ground. That will help them determine what needs repairs.

Crews have completed three of the five core samples, and hope to finish the rest Wednesday after repairing the equipment that had a hydraulic leak. A Williamson County spokeswoman says each core sample can take several hours. Next week, engineers will work to create a 3D map of the cave.

The area has been shut off behind fences and construction signs since Feb. 8, when a portion of the ceiling near a sidewalk collapsed and opened up a view of the 200-foot long and 220-foot deep cavern. Workers have stabilized the entrance and built a cover to protect it from the elements.

Neighbors have had to deal with the increased activity and uncertainty about next steps. Greg Umbay, who lived in the area for the past three or four years, says the discovery has changed the entire neighborhood.

“It affects all of us in positive and negative ways,” Umbay said. “It affects us negatively because it sort of was a shock, but on the other hand, it’s brought some of us here in the neighborhood together. We know more of our neighbors because we came to see the cave.”

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