Infrastructure Improvements Plan provides initial cost estimate at $15.4 million for city of Rollingwood

Caroline LaFollette of K. Friese presented an infrastructure needs update to Rollingwood City Council on Oct. 16.

Caroline LaFollette of K. Friese presented an infrastructure needs update to Rollingwood City Council on Oct. 16.

Whether the issue is ponding or flooding, there is a lot of both going on in the city of Rollingwood during rain events, and it needs to be addressed.

This is according to the latest update from K. Friese & Associates, a civil engineering firm officials hired to provide a needs assessment regarding infrastructure improvements throughout the city.

Council took no action regarding the presentation, as the plan is still ongoing.

Caroline LaFollette of K. Friese said the firm decided to focus on 23 areas of interest and analyzed depths and velocities of water based on a 100-year storm event.

"We reordered the areas of interest so the downstream areas were first," LaFollette said, adding the projects included in the Oct. 16 presentation are preliminary concepts and not necessarily final.

The Oct. 16 presentation from K. Friese constitutes the second update from the civil engineering firm—the first was in July—to City Council. This one came with a cost estimate of $15.4 million, but information from K. Freise states certain costs are unknown and therefore not represented in the estimate.

Included in the initial cost estimate is construction, engineering and surveying, but not project-related costs such as additional infrastructure costs, permitting fees and obtaining rights of way and easements, according to K. Friese documents.

"The cost estimates are what we considered to be appropriate for the city of Rollingwood," LaFollette said, adding other costs associated with the assessment will be added in the final presentation to the city.

K. Friese representative Joe Cantalupo said in July some of the first actions the firm took involved field work to get a sense of what the city was looking at, as well as extensive public outreach. Survey respondents identified property flooding as one of the larger issues for the city, Cantalupo said.

As part of the Oct. 16 update, the K. Friese team refined areas of interest, developed project concepts, created high-level cost estimates, prioritized projects and developed detailed concepts for the city’s top projects, among other initiatives.

Of the 23 listed, the top five drainage improvement projects K. Friese initially identified are for areas within Bee Caves Road; Edgegrove Drive; Nixon Drive and Pleasant Roadway; Pleasant Drive; and Timberline and South Crest drives.

Cantalupo said in July because elements of the study are based on 100-year flood plains, the report is also considering an updated national rainfall study called Atlas 14. That study has shifted the definition of flood plains, meaning they now or could soon cover more land throughout the country, which could have implications for Rollingwood’s infrastructure improvement plan.

During the October 16 presentation, Cantalupo said some communities have adopted what are currently considered 500-year flood events as 100-year flood events. That strategy is pursuant to the findings of Atlas 14, and it is one standard Rollingwood officials could take in consideration of this needs assessment, he said.

"What you need to be aware of is that it will have a financial impact," Cantalupo said.

The next presentation from K. Friese regarding the infrastructure needs assessment has not yet been scheduled.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

An employee at Terry Black's Barbecue in Austin works in a mask May 1. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin’s new law: Follow health authority rules or face $2,000 penalty

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott is set to publish new orders mandating masks and social distancing this week.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
Leander ISD sets July 31 deadline for parents to choose between online or in-person learning

The deadline for Leander ISD parents to determine the method of their child’s learning is July 31—two weeks before the first day of school Aug. 13.

Eanes ISD spoke out against newly issued guidelines from the Texas Education Agency in a June 9 statement. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Eanes ISD officials say Texas Education Agency guidelines would eliminate any efforts to control social distancing

The guidance from the TEA in several ways contradicts EISD’s tentative reopening plan, referred to as "Ready to Re-Engage," which was released June 24.

In compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott's July 2 executive order, the University Interscholastic League is requiring the use of facial coverings when practical to do so for all summer activity participants, among other guidelines. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
UIL releases guidelines for conducting summer activities during COVID-19 pandemic

The University Interscholastic League released udpated guidelines for schools conducting summer activities such as sports training and marching band practices on July 8.

West Lake Hills City Council voted to call off the 2020 special bond election July 8. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
West Lake Hills cancels $22 million infrastructure bond

The bond would have included a list of the city’s critical infrastructure needs, encompassing two propositions dedicated to the construction of a new combined City Hall and police building, and a list of roadway and drainage projects.

An orange virus graphic that reads "Today's coronavirus data updates"
Travis County reports 753 new coronavirus cases July 8

The Austin MSA is still hovering near Stage 5 risk with 67 new hospital admissions in the past day.

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.

Emler Swim School operates 28 year-round locations in Texas and Kansas. (Courtesy Emler Swim School)
Emler Swim School now offering interactive lessons online

Families can choose to receive training via weekly video calls or through instructional videos online.

Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County interim health authority, said in a July 8 news conference that officials are "desperately trying to avoid" both overcrowding hospitals and shutting down the economy with another shelter-in-place order. (Courtesy ATXN)
If new shelter-in-place orders are needed in Austin, local officials hope to have 'productive dialogue' with Gov. Abbott

With area ICU beds at 85% capacity, officials are preparing the Austin Convention Center to accept hospital patients and are calling on health professionals from around the country to assist in Texas.

Paul Norton of Texarkana ISD is Lake Travis ISD's new superintendent. (Courtesy Lake Travis ISD)
Paul Norton is officially Lake Travis ISD’s new superintendent

The former superintendent of Texarkana ISD will fill the role left vacant by outgoing Superintendent Brad Lancaster, who has served LITSD for more than eight years.