'Waterloo': Downtown public restrooms scheduled to come online in November

The 'Waterloo' will take its design from the Portland Loo public restroom system in Portland, Oregon. The restrooms are scheduled to come online in November.

The 'Waterloo' will take its design from the Portland Loo public restroom system in Portland, Oregon. The restrooms are scheduled to come online in November.

Image description
2.20 Portland Loo 2
Dubbed the “Waterloo,” a pair of new, stainless steel, solar-paneled public restrooms could be ready for use by Nov. 8, according to the city’s public works department, capping off what will be a nearly four-year project to get the 24-hour access restrooms downtown.

The restrooms will locate at the corner of 4th and Trinity streets and outside the current municipal court at 700 E. Seventh St. A third facility, which is on hold until further funding is available, will get placed in the area of the 500 block of Brazos Street.

The Oregon-based company Madden Fabrication, will design the new single-occupancy restrooms after their Portland Loo public restroom system. The facilities will include solar panels to power the LED lights, angled slats to allow for airflow and provide enough width for wheel chair access all within a stainless steel design to block graffiti and allow for easy cleanup.

A hand washing station will be on the exterior, as a means to keep people from going inside and washing themselves and their clothes in the sink, said Peter Marsh of the Austin Transportation Department, who presented the information to the Downtown Commission on Feb. 20.

Tallying up materials, design and infrastructure expenses, the two units cost a total of $450,000. Marsh said the facilities will be maintained by Downtown Austin Alliance.

The effort to bring public, 24-hour, wheel chair-accessible restrooms to downtown began in Jan. 2016 after Austin City Council directed the city manager to explore what the project would take. Since, one public restroom trailer has rolled around Austin to test demand in different areas. City Council in December approved a $1.3 million contract to bring 10 permanent public restrooms online in the city.

By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


Residential appraisal valuations have been sent to Travis County property owners. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal Districts says hot housing market is reflected in 2021 appraisals

Property owners have until May 17 to file a protest of their home's appraisal.

Photo of the exterior of La Barbecue
La Barbecue opens new space, plus six more new Austin restaurants

Downtown Italian and Greek eateries are among those joining the Austin restaurant scene this spring.

The Austin City Council is set to meet May 6 to go over a 70-item agenda. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Votes on revamped APD cadet academy, possible shift in homeless strategy on tap May 6

Council may look to the possibility of establishing designated campgrounds for the Austin's homeless this spring, with a citywide public camping ban set to go into effect May 11.

Austin City Council will vote on whether to reboot the police department's training academy May 6. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Benchmarks for 'reimagined' APD cadet academy on track ahead of City Council commencement vote

Training of the Austin Police Department's 144th cadet class could get underway next month following an overhaul of the academy's instructional process and curriculum.

Ryan Companies will be building 350 homes near the Mueller control tower. (Rendering courtesy Lake Flato Architects)
Coming soon to Austin: Vaquero Taquero adding a downtown location, Komé opening at the airport, Mueller to add 350 homes and more

A new ice cream shop is also opening in East Austin and an apartment project is being built near House Park.

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vaccine vial with the words "vaccine news" superimposed
Austin-area health officials prep for vaccines to open to kids 12 and up

Austin-Travis County interim Health Authority Mark Escott said he expects the FDA to authorize Pfizer's vaccine for kids 12 and up within a week.

New penalties for camping and several other activities will be enforced after the May 1 election is certified and Proposition B's homeless ordinances are in effect. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
With Proposition B's passage, Austin City Council looks to solidify homelessness summit goals, may consider designated campgrounds

The city may look to the concept of temporary designated campsites to house individuals experiencing homelessness after a new camping ban enacted through Proposition B goes into effect.

Photo of hands in purple gloves prepared a vaccine vial
As Travis County receives fewer vaccines this week, state asks for 'one more big push' in distribution

The Texas Department of State Health Services is shifting its distribution model for vaccines moving forward.

Waterloo Park will open in August 2021. (Courtesy Waterloo Greenway Conservancy)
Waterloo Park announces August opening date, series of community programs

Live Nation and C3 Presents will announce a series of concerts at the park's 5,000-seat Moody Amphitheater in the coming weeks.

Voters line up at the Carver branch of the Austin Public Library on May 1. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin May 1 election: See the results from all eight propositions

Nearly 60% of city voters supported Proposition B, which will reinstate criminal penalties for camping, solicitation and sitting or lying down in certain public areas.