Part of Shoal Creek Trail closed as crews fix rapid erosion

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Part of the Shoal Creek Trail will be closed on and off for the next few months, as city engineers work to fix rapid erosion that’s undermining the trail.

This week, the stretch of the trail between 12th Street and North Lamar Boulevard is closed, as crews work to remove Giant Reed along the path, which is invasive and can choke the stream channels.

After that’s done, that same section of the trail will be closed for the next few months as crews build up the area with grass and a limestone block wall to prevent more erosion.

People will be detoured to the sidewalk. Crews will eventually make their way down the trail all the way to Sixth Street.

The city’s Watershed Protection Department says this specific project is focused mainly on making the trail safer and improving water quality. However, engineers say they have other projects in the works to help with the larger issues of flooding and erosion along the creek.

Businesses in the area, that worry about flooding every time there’s a big rain, say that’s encouraging.

“They’re doing a good job of trying to take a holistic kind of cohesive approach to everything they’re doing, to take environmental impact, recreational use and flooding in consideration with all of those changes,” said Holland Jones, spokesman for Whole Earth Provision Co., which has a store and office on North Lamar that have suffered flooding in the past. “So we’re happy to see that, and we’ve been working with them and taking all of that into effect to help all of those areas.” 

In the fall, the city held a community meeting and took input from people who live and work in the area. Engineers are proposing a number of multi-million dollar ideas like buying out high-risk properties, creating bypass tunnels and making storm drain inlets larger. The Watershed Protection Department says the city is still working to decide which options they’ll go with.

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