The Watershed Protection Department and the Union Pacific Railroad are working in cooperation on this project to help with flooding along Whispering Valley Road and in the West Cow Path area.


Several houses along Whispering Valley Road have been flooded repeatedly by Walnut Creek in recent years. The railroad crossing over the creek, currently an 8 foot by 7 foot culvert, does not provide adequate conveyance of water during large storms, causing water to back up behind the crossing. 

In the nearby West Cow Path area, the flooding is not coming from the creek, but is due to the lack of storm drain infrastructure. The neighborhood was built in the 1970s, before the City required subdivisions to have underground pipes or ditches to help the streets drain and prevent flooding.

Photo of railroad crossing and culvert at the creek


The preliminary engineering study recommends a complex project that includes the following:

  • Installing curb and gutter in the area near West Cow Path, Bull Run and Branding Chase Street.
  • Installing storm drain infrastructure (pipes, inlets, outfall, etc.) in the same area as the curb and gutter.
  • Building a natural-looking channel to the west of this area.
  • Installing a culvert through the former 3M property.
  • Adding channel storage in the open space owned by the Champion Forest Homeowners Association. This is near Whispering Valley Drive and the railroad crossing.
  • Buying drainage and other easements from a handful of property owners.

In addition, we have recommended that Union Pacific upgrade the railroad crossing over the creek.

Map showing recommended solution


Our capital improvement projects take many years from start to finish. The process typically includes the following phases:

  • Preliminary Engineering – when a solution is identified and costs are estimated.
  • Design – when the details are worked out and construction plans drawn up.
  • Bidding and Permitting – when a contractor is hired and all permits are acquired.
  • Construction – when the project is built.

We completed the preliminary engineering phase for this project in the spring of 2019.



Please contact Rupali Sabnis, P.E., at 512--974-3375 or send an email to Rupali.

To be added to the email distribution list for this project, please email Stephanie Lott, 512-974-2799.