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Waller Creek Tunnel Project Making Steady Progress
The cost for the Waller Creek Tunnel Project, under construction since the fall of 2011, is over $100 million. But authorities say it's worth the cost, saying the tunnel will help fight flooding and erosion and spur development.
The tunnel is approximately 5,600 feet and is the first step in revitalizing an area of downtown stretching from Waterloo Park to Lady Bird Lake.
Construction crews continue their work at the Waller Creek Flood Control Tunnel starting at Waterloo Park.
With excavation efforts nearly complete, crews will spend the next year lining that tunnel with concrete.
The mile-long tunnel, intended to keep the public safe from flooding, will capture and redirect flood waters south of 12th Street, carrying them to an outlet lagoon on the shores of Lady Bird Lake.
It will help reclaim over 1,000,000 square feet of land -- protecting 42 commercial and residential structures and 12 roadways.
City of Austin authorities say the tunnel is 70 feet underground to dampen that energy of the flood as it comes in.
Major areas of the project include an outlet and lagoon at Lady Bird Lake, creek side tunnel inlets on 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th Street, an inlet and pond at Waterloo Park as well as a 20,000 square-foot maintenance and debris handling building.
The tunnel is the largest of the flood control projects undertaken by the City of Austin since 1981.
The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.
By Angel Covarrubias