Construction contracts for the next phase of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority deep-water intake were approved during a May 26 Round Rock City Council meeting.

Officials approved contracts pledging $63.36 million toward a $224.78 million project through its partnership with Cedar Park and Leander. This project will help secure access to drinking water for all three cities, Round Rock Utilities Director Michael Thane said. The contract was won by Thalle Construction Co. and SAK Construction LLC in a joint venture.

"We are awarding the construction contract for the largest dollar amount that I've ever presented to the City Council," Thane said of the project.

The contract will be paid from the city's regional water fund.

Included in this phase of the project is the deep-water intake, maintenance building, intake tunnel, pump station and transmission tunnel. Once completed, the two-pronged intake will be around 40 feet above the Colorado River channel running through the bottom of Lake Travis. Thane said this ensures access to drinking water even if the lake lowers.

Once completed, the intake will pump up to 144 million gallons of water daily, with the pipe running between the intake and pump station buried nearly 300 feet below ground.