Erosion construction to detour hike and bike trail up to Cesar Chavez

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist MICHAEL MOORE

khou.com

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 8:06 PM

AUSTIN -- The City of Austin will soon begin construction to stop erosion at Lady Bird Lake. For six months, a quarter mile of the hike and bike trail will be closed on the Shoal Creek Peninsula of Lady Bird Lake. People will be detoured up to Cesar Chavez.

Water is eating away on the bank of Lady Bird Lake on the north side on the peninsula. Even a willow tree washed away because of erosion.
 
The supervising engineer of the project, Morgan Byars, said they've lost 20 feet since 1997 -- about a foot a year. He said if nothing was done, the trail would eventually be lost.

"We've engineered a solution using limestone boulders and reinforced vegetation where we can restore the shoreline to it's original condition," Byars said.

They're going to remove the old concrete and replace it with native materials. They'll even have turtle basking boulders.

The peninsula was man-made in the 60s to force Shoal Creek in a certain direction. Sometimes the water from Shoal Creek washes up over the peninsula, causing erosion.

"The total budget [of] this construction project is approximately one million dollars," said Byars.

It's not taxpayer money, it's already appropriated through the drainage utility fee on your utility bill.

Construction is underway on the Ladybird Lake Boardwalk Trail project. The walkway over the water will start at Lakeshore Park and run along the bank to just west of the interstate. Work to install piers has begun. Construction west of I-35 is scheduled for late spring 2013 and is expected to be complete in 2014. The new 1.2 mile trail extension will connect to the existing trail at the Austin American-Statesman parking lot.

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