Since 2008 the Lakeway Public Works Department has been concerned about the failure of two culverts located on Rolling Green. The two locations are composed either fully or partially of metal pipes, and in both locations there have been at least partial collapses in the pipes, Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones told City Council members Jan. 22.
The pipes have been monitored and have not deteriorated much since 2008, Jones said, but the amount of water that can travel through each culvert has been diminished.
"It's almost humorous to talk about flooding in the middle of a drought," Jones said. "But eventually it will rain, and these droughts tend to end in large amounts of rainfall. I'm concerned about flooding for the houses next to [the culverts]."
Jones said he thought the culverts needed to be brought to the council's attention because of the health and safety risk the pipes posed.
The culverts were originally on the capital improvement plan the city proposed in 2008 along with a right-hand turn lane at Lakeway Boulevard and RR 620 and other projects, but because of a road failure on Lohmans Crossing in 2010 work on the culverts got pushed back, Jones said.
"Because of the health and safety factors, the culverts will always be a high priority in my mind," Jones said. "I would like to see it addressed before there is an issue."
The roadway is still stable, but the corrugated metal pipes are begining to crush down and deteriorate, Jones told council members.
Jones proposed that the culverts be replaced with either concrete box culverts or a half-pipe arch culvert.
"I prefer the arch culvert because you don't get any erosion underneath," Jones said. "They are a little more expensive, so we can have the engineer price it both ways and see if the extra money is the way to go."
Jones told council members that the project will probably not be a quick one, as it will likely require a few months to complete.
"We will probably have to have some [traffic] detours," Jones said. "It will be a bit of an inconvenience for a few months."
The project is estimated to cost $400,000.
"We have to keep up our city's infrastructure," Councilwoman Dee Ann Burns-Farrell said. "We can't have sections of the road caving in. How much would that cost us? It is our job to protect the citizens of Lakeway from infrastructure that is degrading or failing."
City Council unanimously approved using the capital reserve fund to construct the drainage facilities on Rolling Green Drive at the Jan. 22 meeting.
Jones said the project will be put out for bidding before returning to council for approval.