Section of Brushy Creek Trail reopens after dam modernization

The Brushy Creek Regional Trail crosses the modernized dam.

The Brushy Creek Regional Trail crosses the modernized dam.

Image description
Regional trail section reopens
Image description
DSC_0275
Image description
DSC_0280
Image description
DSC_0309
Image description
DSC_0319
Image description
DSC_0323
Image description
DSC_0282
A section of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail, which has been closed since June 2016 from Brushy Creek Lake Park leading into Champion Park and along the adjacent dam, officially reopened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 18.

DAM UPDATES
The trail’s reopening followed the substantial completion of the dam modernization project in March, according to Chris Tschirhart, senior project manager for the Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District. Minor work for temporary irrigation will continue in April and potentially May, he said.

“The dam has been modernized to meet the current design standards and that means it can safely pass the design flood [82 percent the maximum probable flood for this dam] without overtopping, so that’s beneficial for people who are living downstream,” he said.

He said that while the dam was in good condition, its hazard classification was changed to high-hazard a few years ago because of the developments that were built downstream.

When the area’s dams were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, they were considered low-hazard because the surrounding land was agricultural, Tschirhart said. Now that neighborhoods of people live downstream of the dams, the district was required to modernize them, he said. The trailside dam is the 20th of 23 dams the district has modernized since 2003, he said.

TRAIL PHASE DELAYED
Separate from the dam modernization project and trail reopening, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization reduced the federal funding awarded to the Brushy Creek Regional Trail Phase V project by about $330,000 at a meeting March 5 due to challenges in purchasing right-of-way.

The CAMPO board approved the trail amendment to its Transportation Improvement Program for Williamson County’s portion at the meeting, decreasing the funding from around $1.3 million to around $1 million, as well as Phase V's distance from 2.7 to approximately .93 miles in length.

The revised scope for the grant will still begin near Creekside Plaza but end around the intersection of Sam Bass Road and Meadows Drive along the creek, opposed to the originally planned extension near Hairy Man Road, said Connie Odom, Williamson County public affairs manager.

“The .931 section of trail is the most expensive because this shorter phase of development encompasses the bulk of the higher cost infrastructure, such as a pedestrian bridge and boardwalks, and requires more intense site access, clearing and fine grading,” she said.

Construction is planned to begin in late fall of this year or early 2019 with federal funding and money from Williamson County voter-approved park bonds, she said.

SEGMENTED PROJECT
Since all of the necessary right-of-ways were not acquired, Williamson County plans to construct the project in at least two segments, according to CAMPO documents. The trail will eventually span at least 20 miles connecting entirely from Cedar Park to Round Rock and Hutto, Odom said.

“We will continue working with property owners to acquire right-of-way access for this trail,” said Terry Cook, Williamson County Precinct 1 commissioner. “Due to the number of stakeholders involved, the process can be lengthy.”

She said the county’s goal is to complete this section of the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Round Rock by late summer or early fall 2019.

A new phase and budget is expected in the future to connect the remaining distance, said Odom.
“At this time we do not know where specifically the funding will come from for the gap portion of the trail,” she said “Possible funding sources for future phases include the 2013 bond money and potential grants.”

Regional trail section reopens
SHARE THIS STORY
By Abby Bora

Abby Bora started at Community Impact Newspaper in May 2017. After working as a reporter, she became editor of the Cedar Park-Leander edition in October 2018. She covers Leander ISD and city government. Bora graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications studies.


MOST RECENT

Pflugerville ISD administration building
DATA: See which Pflugerville ISD schools gained—and lost—the most students with new enrollment zone changes

Pflugerville ISD's two easternmost campuses, Mott Elementary School and Cele Middle School, are projected to gain the most relief from overcrowding due to new enrollment zone changes.

Hutto announces top 3 search firm candidates for city manager hiring process

Hutto City Council approved interviews with Strategic Government Resources, Bakertilly and Affion Public in its search for a permanent city manager.

Krab Kingz Seafood's menu includes crab, shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn and boiled egg, all seasoned in a signature boil. It also offers a garlic butter sauce that comes in five different flavors. (Courtesy Krab Kingz Seafood Cypress)
Krab Kingz Seafood celebrates opening in Pflugerville

Krab Kingz Seafood's menu includes crab, shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn and boiled egg as well as a garlic butter sauce that comes in five different flavors.

The Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department will celebrate the grand opening of The Yard on Feb. 22, an outdoor fitness center added to the city's Clay Madsen Recreation Center. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)
The Yard marks grand opening at Round Rock's Clay Madsen Recreation Center

The Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department will celebrate the grand opening of The Yard on Feb. 22, an outdoor fitness center added to the city's Clay Madsen Recreation Center.

The PfISD Board of Trustees voted Feb. 20 to change enrollment boundaries or program offerings in the 2020-21 school year for eight schools. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Looking to get ahead of crowded schools east of SH 130, Pflugerville ISD shifts enrollment boundaries

The PfISD Board of Trustees voted Feb. 20 to change enrollment boundaries or program offerings in the 2020-21 school year for eight schools.

Hutto City Council unanimously approved a resolution of support related to a proposed affordable housing project, Carver Ridge Apartments, located near FM 1660 and CR 137. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hutto City Council unanimously approves resolution of support for affordable housing proposal

Hutto City Council unanimously approved a resolution of support related to a proposed affordable housing project, Carver Ridge Apartments, located near FM 1660 and CR 137.

The Round Rock ISD school calendar for 2021-22 includes the districtwide holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 17. (Courtesy Fotolia)
2021-22 academic calendar approved for Round Rock ISD

The district’s first day of school is scheduled for Aug. 18, 2021, and the 2021-22 school year will conclude May 26, 2022.

JUST IN: Round Rock ISD board officially creates a district police department

Following nearly three years of discussion and community input, the Round Rock ISD board of trustees officially authorized the formation of a district police department on Feb. 20.

Elsa England Elementary School is one of six Round Rock ISD campuses that will be affected by boundary changes beginning this fall. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
New attendance boundaries approved for 6 Round Rock ISD schools

Beginning in the 2020-21 academic year, the changes will affect five elementary schools—Caraway, Elsa England, Herrington, Joe Lee Johnson and Teravista—and one middle school, C.D. Fulkes.

Under a freeze option, the ordinance would freeze the amount of taxes a resident pays once they turn 65 and has a homestead. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hutto's Senior Watch group advocates for proposed senior citizen tax freeze

Under a freeze option, the ordinance would freeze the amount of taxes a resident pays once they turn 65 and has a homestead.

State Sen. Kirk Watson announced his resignation from state government Feb. 18. A number of local politicians have expressed interest in the seat.
Who is interested in Kirk Watson’s Senate seat? Here is where local members of the state House stand

State Reps. Gina Hinojosa and Eddie Rodriguez say they are "seriously considering" a run for the District 14 seat.

The business offers 40 flavors of popcorn, specialty and boozy milkshakes, sweets, candy and more. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Snack Room celebrates soft opening in Round Rock

Shop offerings include 40 flavors of popcorn, specialty and boozy milkshakes, sweets, candy and more.

Back to top