Shoal Creek Trail Follow-Up
According to Austin Watershed Protection Department rain sent by Mother Nature helped to create the mess for those who live, bike, and run along Shoal Creek.
Mike Kelly, manager engineer for the City of Austin Watershed Protection Department said. “There was a landslide that occurred on the western slope of the Shoal Creek, located between 24th Street and 29th Street.”
Shoal Creek stretches nearly 11 miles and has nearly 4 miles of hike and bike trials, about 300 feet of it was destroyed in this series of events.
Officials said it was a slope failure that caused this. This happens when a limestone keeping soil together breaks and the clay underneath slides.
” We have private property on top whose backyards are effected and have been lost. We are monitoring the situation for any structural situations up top, to date there are none. As we move down the slope then Pease Park is city lots and parkland that was impacted,” said Kelly.
In addition the city’s wastewater line buckled, home owners on Wooldridge Drive were within feet of being swallowed by the landslide.
The city said it is in no imminent danger but the high level of concern continued. A small-scaled failure of that slope could, foot by foot, creep toward the structures.
At this time the city is assessing the damage, briefing employees and creating models to simulate what happened.
According to Joanna Wolaver, executive director of Shoal Creek Conservancy, their role would be advocating for repair of the trail and also helping to get the word out about the safety concerns and the fairly easy detour on Lamar Boulevard sidewalk.
At this time the city is working on the short-term solutions first.
“There will be permanent solutions. What that looks like at this moment I can’t tell you,” said Kelly.