The following post is reprinted from the summer 2015 SRCC Neighborhood Newsletter:
In an effort to remediate hazardous road conditions caused by eroded streambanks along Little Stacy Park, City of Austin Watershed Protection is planning to turn the park segment of Sunset Lane into a trail. These efforts will re-direct stormwater runoff generated by the roadway and limit other sources of runoff. The Little Stacy Park Stream Restoration Project will include expanding the Grow Zone along the creek to slow down and filter stormwater runoff. Existing damaged areas will be rehabilitated with native plants and greenery. The closed portion of Sunset Lane will be converted into a hike & bike trail to provide natural space and amenities for neighborhood park users.
Note: An upcoming vote will be taken by the City to decide on support for this project
The plan to abandon the roadway and extend the park trail system was a choice to protect the creek from construction impacts. Efforts to restore roadway function would require costly construction to reconstruct the eroded road embankments. Urban channel restoration costs range from $400 – 1,000 per linear foot. This work would require substantial over-excavation to reconstruct the embankment (up to 15ft heights), with a loss of trees and habitat. Construction of a temporary creek channel access route would likely damage natural limestone formations between the eroded road embankment sections. This reach is largely defined by beautiful natural limestone inset flumes formed by flows over the eons. Protecting these features would be a major cost and their potential degradation could not be ensured. The choice for a trail instead of roadway will preserve the wildish nature of our creek and restore its connection to the park.
These efforts will be coordinated with broader renovation of old recreational equipment, play areas, and access in Little Stacy Park by Parks and Recreation. The project is currently in the design phase, with construction anticipated to begin in 2016. Follow the SRCC website for updates on the restoration project. For details, please contact Janna Renfro, P.E. at 512-974-3422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.