Waller Creek Project

Waller Creek, located in downtown Austin, runs 1.5 miles from Waterloo Park just south of the University of Texas to Lady Bird Lake. For decades this creek has been prone to massive flooding and because of this, development adjacent to this creek has suffered and the area became an eye sore.  But everything is about to change.

This creek is now surrounded by prime real estate and a massive collaboration between the City of Austin, the Waller Creek conservancy and architects will not only solve the flooding problem but will create beautiful parks and greenspace’s along with new developments that will turn a neglected area to a beautiful destination for all ages.

Waller Creek and Parks

Waller Creek now represents the single largest urban creek redevelopment project in the nation. In 2011, work began on a huge $146 million tunnel channeled directly beneath the creek and now runs the entire length of the creek.  This will eliminate any potential flooding and opens the door for new development creating what many are calling…. Austin’s new “Central Park.”

After public input and receiving several designs and concepts from renowned architects, Michael Van Valkenburg, famous for his works in New York City, was selected to head the design. He’s created several key focal points that fuse Austin’s love of nature and public spaces that will sure to attract thousands of visitors daily.

Rendering of Waller Creek area

Here are the five major areas to be developed:

Lattice & Pontoon Bridge: Beautiful lightweight bridges that will connect east and west sides closer to Lady Bird Lake.

Palm Park: A new grove of live oaks will fill a broad slope descending from street level to the creek along 3rd St.

The Narrows: Will span from 4th to 7th St serving as a meeting point between the creek and downtown.

The Refuge: A pier extending from 8th St. bridge to an island park in the middle of the creek allowing exploration of the creek ecology.

Waterloo Park: A new lawn extending the top of the creek serving as an outdoor music venue.

Quotes from the latest article on Waller Creek from Community Impact Newsletter:

The long-term plan

There will be five parks created along the 1.5-mile project. Some areas, such as the two sections closest to Lady Bird Lake and the park south of Waterloo Park—known as The Refuge—will focus on providing immersive nature experiences. Other areas of the project, such as the section currently called The Narrows—an area that runs from Fourth to Seventh streets—will merge the urban characteristics of the structures surrounding the creek with the creek’s nature and ecology.

“As Austin continues to grow there is going to be the need to build in pieces of public infrastructure, and when I use that term I really mean public space—places that can be used by all constituents,” Peter Mullan [Waller Creek Conservancy’s new CEO] said. “I think Waller Creek will be the most significant of those.”

Future of Waller Creek

Plans, designs and concepts for the project, which spans from Lady Bird Lake north to 15th Street, have been in the works for years. Any changes to the grounds surrounding Waller Creek will start within the next two years, and the majority of the project should be complete in 10 to 15 years, WCC Programming Director Meredith Bossin said.

Read the entire Community Impact article “Waller Creek project proceeds with new leader“.

Learn more about the Waller Creek project from the Waller Creek Conservancy.