Expect occasional disruptions to traffic on North Lamar
On Monday, March 16, the Watershed Protection Department began a project to both stabilize the southeast bank of Shoal Creek just north of Pease Park and to help restore flood capacity to the creek. The project is expected to take three or four months, weather permitting, at a cost of $550,000.
Please expect occasional disruptions to traffic in the 2600 block of North Lamar between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays. Traffic disruptions will be temporary as construction trucks enter and leave the site. In addition, an informal dirt path popular with pedestrians on the southeast bank of Shoal Creek will be closed during construction. The Shoal Creek Greenbelt Trail will continue to be detoured to the sidewalk of Lamar Blvd. The sidewalk will remain open throughout the project.
This project helps address public safety issues that arose from two landslides on May 4, 2018, and May 8, 2019. Since the first landslide, the southeast bank of Shoal Creek has eroded at least 20 feet. Three feet were lost in storms during the first week of March 2020. Two heritage trees are also threatened. This project will stabilize the creek bank and prevent further loss of parkland.
The landslides also dumped significant amounts of debris in Shoal Creek partially blocking flow in the creek. Watershed Protection estimates this debris has the potential to increase flood water levels by two feet in the immediate area. With a big enough storm, flow from Shoal Creek has the potential to block Lamar Blvd. in this area, posing a danger to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on Lamar. This project includes widening a narrow section of the creek in this area and removal of loose debris. This will help restore some of the creek's original flood capacity.
This is one of multiple projects needed to address damage from the landslides. Watershed Protection has already rerouted the storm drain system at the top of the slope, Austin Energy has moved a power pole and Austin Water has temporarily rerouted a damaged wastewater line. Two more projects are planned for a permanent wastewater line and reconstruction of the Shoal Creek Greenbelt Trail.