On Friday, May 4, 2018, there was a landslide on a cliff that overlooks Shoal Creek. No one was injured, but there was significant damage to public and private property. Part of the Shoal Creek Greenbelt Trail was destroyed, debris partially blocked Shoal Creek, a wastewater line was broken, some homes lost large sections of their backyards and a storm drain outfall on Wooldridge Dr. was damaged.
Since the closure of the Shoal Creek Trail, the Austin Water Utility department has installed a rerouted connection for the wastewater line and the Watershed Protection Department has completed two projects; one to stabilize the east creek bank to prevent additional land loss and to protect two heritage trees and one to reroute the storm drain system on Wooldridge Drive.
What caused the landslide?
The natural geology of the area is prone to slope failures. Fractured limestone sits on top of a clay layer that weakens when it gets wet.
Austin Water completed wastewater infrastructure repairs on the east side of Shoal Creek and along Lamar Blvd. in July 2018. No other repairs are currently planned or necessary at this time. Austin Water will work with City departments to incorporate the construction of a new wastewater line with any future projects in the area.
The Shoal Creek Greenbelt Trail on the west side of the creek within the failure area remains closed. The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) has been working with Public Works, Austin Transportation, Shoal Creek Conservancy, and Pease Park Conservancy to develop improvements to the current trail detour, and sidewalk along Lamar Blvd. to benefit public use. The first phase proposed was to improve and formalize a nature trail that connects walkers to the closest creek crossing. Installation of the nature trail was completed in the spring of 2021. PARD has also completed a design to widen the Lamar sidewalk through the detour area to accommodate the additional recreation users. The new trail detour will be located further back from the road and closer to mature shade trees. Widening the sidewalk is supported in the adopted Urban Trails and Bicycle Plans. PARD has received permit approval for the enhanced trail detour and is currently working with Austin Energy to remove guy wires that conflict with the new alignment.
Please note that as in any construction project, schedules are projected as accurately as possible. All dates are subject to change due to the nature of construction and the weather.
Summer 2023: Construction planned to begin
A public meeting was held in July 2018.
- Overview Memo to Mayor and Council May 2018 memo
- Update Memo to Mayor and Council May 2018 memo
- Update Memo to Mayor and Council July 2018 memo
- Update Memo to Mayor and Council November 2018 memo
- Update Memo to Mayor and Council April 2019 memo
- Update Memo to Mayor and Council July 2019 memo
- Update Memo to Mayor and Council January 2020 memo
For more information, contact D’Anne Williams, Project Manager, Parks and Recreation by email or at (512) 974-9456.