Council takes public works tour of cityPublished 10:17am Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The Austin City Council got an up-close look at some of the city’s biggest public works projects Monday during an hour-long bus tour around the city.
The council toured the almost-finished Hormel Nature Center trails, as well as work done at the North Main Flood Control Project.
Public Works Director Steven Lang updated the council on several of the city’s biggest public works projects, from additions to the city’s wastewater treatment plant to its flood mitigation efforts and upcoming sewer projects on the western edge of town as well.
The city made great strides to lay the foundation for flood walls along the Cedar River in downtown Austin over the winter. City workers closed North Main Street in May to raise the road about two feet higher as part of an overall effort to protect the downtown area from floods. Construction workers are building a water pumping station near the Austin Municipal Pool parking lot as well as creating an eventual “invisible” flood wall, a series of aluminum stop logs that can be stacked up to three feet past the high-water mark from the record 2004 flood.
The invisible wall will be about 7 feet higher than North Main Street’s current elevation.
To account for the difference, North Main Street from the Austin Municipal Pool to Eighth Avenue will be raised about two feet. The permanent wall will be constructed two feet higher than that, and the invisible wall will make up the difference.
Lang said city workers plan to reopen Main Street in November if construction goes well.
This week’s weather may hinder the North Main Flood Control project, however. If the Cedar River floods, it could cause delays in the project.