This project will replace the pedestrian bridge in Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park and protect Krieg Fields, park roads and nearby homes from an ever-worsening erosion problem.

Project Status

Sept. 8, 2022: The project officially started on August 22, 2022, and will take two years to complete. Preparatory work has begun, which may not be very noticeable. Visitors to the park should expect to see more construction activity later in September. For your safety and the safety of construction crews, please stay out of fenced off areas.

Project Overview

Ongoing and severe erosion has been occurring along an artificial drainage channel, known as Country Club West, in Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park. The erosion undermined the pedestrian bridge that used to be in the park, currently threatens the ball fields, trails and parkland, and has made the channel too unstable to support a new bridge.

This project will stabilize the channel. It includes:

  • Three large concrete structures within the channel to step the water down to the river.
  • Rocks and native grasses along the banks
  • Natural channel bottom
  • New pedestrian bridge over one of the concrete structures.

Please note that we will have to remove trees to construct this project. We will be planting 41 new trees as well as contributing $500,000 to a fund to plant new trees in the same park.

Background

The Country Club West channel was partially constructed in the late 1970s to divert floodwaters from Country Club Creek and allow development on Riverside Drive. The channel construction was never completed, so water has created its own path to the river, forming gullies in the park over time. The channel was built before the City of Austin adopted floodplain and environmental regulations and before the park belonged to the City of Austin.

Severe flooding in 2015 caused erosion that caused the collapse of the pedestrian bridge and funneled all flows into one channel instead of two. This channel that holds all the water runs through an area that was originally a sandbar in the Colorado River before the river was dammed with the construction of Longhorn Dam. The sand in this area is highly erodible, and since 2015, the erosion has been getting worse at an alarming rate.

Temporary Projects

The City of Austin has completed five temporary projects to slow the erosion down until this permanent project could be designed and constructed.

  • Protect ballfields 10 and 11, completed in May 2017.
  • Slow the rapid progress of erosion upstream, completed in February 2018.
  • Repair flood damage to previous project, completed 2018.
  • Protect a wastewater main, completed in 2020
  • Protect park road, completed in 2020.

Cost

This is Austin’s largest erosion project. Construction cost is estimated at $25 million dollars, funded by a combination of Drainage Utility Funds, General Funds, 2018 Bond Funds and a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant.

Timeline

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.
  • Permitting and Bidding – when a contractor is hired and all permits are acquired.
  • Construction – when the project is built.

Construction began August 22, 2022, and is expected to take two years.

Additional Information