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 a tributary to 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:

  • Adding a flood bench in the open space owned by the Champion Forest Homeowners Association. A flood bench is an open area next to the creek to store floodwaters. This is near Whispering Valley Drive and the railroad crossing.
  • 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.
  • Buying drainage and other easements as required.

In addition, we have recommended that Union Pacific upgrade the railroad crossing over the creek. Please note that we cannot make any of the improvements in the West Cow Path area until we have added the channel storage and Union Pacific has upgraded the railroad crossing. This is to avoid worsening flooding downstream.

Map showing proposed improvements


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 are in the design phase for the Whispering Valley portion of the project. We completed the preliminary engineering phase for the West Cow Path portion, but will not begin design until we have a formal agreement with Union Pacific to upgrade the railroad crossing near Whispering Valley.



Please contact Sharon Teague, 512-974-6343, or email Sharon Teague

To be added to the email distribution list for this project, please email Joan Esquivel, 512-974-3371.