Monday, March 11, 2024

Women swimmers are unhappy w/ the proposed 2024 rehab of Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse. Learn more.


$105.2 million Capital Construction Grant, I35 Cap and Stitch project, visit

AUSTIN, Texas – The City of Austin has been awarded a $105.2 million Capital Construction Grant as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program (NAE), funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The City will use this grant funding to construct a 5.3-acre freeway cap over I-35 between Cesar Chavez and Fourth Street as part of Our Future 35: Austin’s Cap and Stitch Program.

The City’s ‘Our Future 35’ initiative aims to construct caps and stitches, otherwise known as platforms or lids, over portions of I-35 in Central Austin being reconstructed as part of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Capital Express Central Project.

The City's cap and stitch project provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the landscape of Central Austin by building public space and amenities that celebrate and connect all Austinites.

“A primary goal of pushing and pushing to get I-35 lowered was so that we could have the potential for not only reducing the divide it created and continues to perpetuate, but so that we might have caps and stitches that allow for far better connections,” Mayor Kirk Watson said. “This federal award will better enable Austin to realize that vision, and I’m really excited about the opportunities that lie ahead to work together to create a more complete city. And thank you to our Congressional delegation who worked to bring home this critical funding.”

The City applied for the grant in September and identified the freeway cap between Cesar Chavez Street and Fourth Street as a strong candidate project due to the enhanced connections it will provide residents of the East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood to downtown previously cut off by the original construction of I-35, including a potentially uninterrupted walking and biking corridor across I-35 at Third Street that requires no frontage road crossings.

“These are the first three blocks of what could eventually be additional benefits through additional capping along I-35 with help from UT, the City and other interested parties,” U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) said in a media release.

“Crossing I-35 on foot doesn’t have to feel like an uncomfortable game of Frogger,” Rep. Greg Casar (D-Austin) said. “We’re bringing federal dollars home to Austin, reconnecting East and West Austin, and creating dynamic spaces for all of our residents.”  

The City will contribute a $45 million local match to the project and will coordinate with TxDOT on the design and engineering of the cap structure and anticipates a robust public process to determine the design of amenities on top that will be constructed after the structure is built.

The City continues to explore funding and phasing strategies for other caps and stitches, including additional grants, philanthropy, and other sources.

To learn more about the Cap and Stitch project, visit

About Austin Transportation and Public Works Department

Austin Transportation and Public Works is a highly reliable organization that builds and maintains mobility infrastructure for our community. Visit

The City of Austin and Austin Police Association Meet and Confer Negotiations Scheduled

Formal negotiations on a new long-term contract between the City of Austin and the Austin Police Association (APA) are set to begin on March 13, 2024.   

All parties agree that a long-term contract is in the best interest of the community and are committed to finding a resolution. The goal is for any agreement reached between the APA and the City’s bargaining team to address community concerns, navigate current legal challenges, and garner Council approval.   

The APA and the City will meet to negotiate the terms of the Austin Police Department Meet and Confer Agreement on the following dates which can also be found on the City’s website at: 

City of Austin and Austin Police Association - Meet and Confer: 

March 13, 2024 10 a.m. 

Human Resources Department (LRC)  

5202 E. Ben White Blvd., Austin, Tx. 78741 

Room 204 (Auditorium), Suite 500 

March 20, 2024 10 a.m. 

Location TBD  

The meetings will be live streamed and can be accessed here: 

The meetings are open to the public, but attendees will not be able to speak or engage in the negotiations. The meetings will also follow state law Texas Local Government Code Section 143.305 which states that the agreement and any documents prepared and used in connection with the agreement are available to the public only after the agreement is ratified by the City Council.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Deep Eddy Pool Reopens in Time for Spring Break; Lifeguard Training and Hiring Can Be the Start of a New Career

Photo Courtesy of Progressive Commercial Aquatics

Deep Eddy Pool, 401 Deep Eddy Ave., will reopen just in time for spring break. The Deep Eddy lap pool will be open for normal operating hours on Monday, March 11, with the shallow side opening for recreational swim the next day, Tuesday, March 12. Find hours of operation at

Deep Eddy Pool was closed temporarily since Monday, January 8 for maintenance improvements including replacement of a damaged bulkhead and upgraded deck lighting. This maintenance project was made possible in part by funding from the Austin Parks Foundation.

Lifeguard Training and Hiring

The City of Austin offers lifeguard certification year round. The StarGuard lifeguard program is an internationally-recognized certification with a curriculum that teaches trainees how to act in the event of an emergency.

Anyone interested in applying to be a lifeguard can stop by the Aquatic Office, 2818 San Gabriel St., for free pizza during Lifeguard Hiring Open Hours from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 and Friday, April 5.

Everyone must complete the job application and hiring paperwork before registering for training. Applicants should bring ID and social security card to get their paperwork completed.

Lifeguards earn $20.80 per hour with no experience. Ages 15 and up can apply. Free bus pass if hired. Learn more about lifeguarding at

About Austin Parks Foundation
Austin Parks Foundation (APF) is dedicated to partnering with the community to enhance people’s lives by making public parks, trails and green spaces better through volunteerism, innovative programming, advocacy and financial support. APF has invested over $80 million in Austin parks since its inception in 1992, and its annual flagship volunteer event, It’s My Park Day, results in an average of $650,000 in volunteer labor each year. APF also fosters unique partnerships, is a presenting partner and beneficiary of the Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Metropolitan Park, and empowers neighbors all over the city to create a park system that serves their needs. For more information, please visit

City of Austin 2024 Spring Festival Event Operations Center, media hotline active

The City of Austin has activated the Event Operations Center (EvOC) to coordinate public safety and transportation operations for the 2024 Spring Festival Season, including the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals.

Media requests regarding City operations related to Spring Festival Season can be directed to the EvOC media line at (512) 974-9280 or The line will be operational from approximately 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. through March 12, and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. March 13-16. The EvOC closes at 3 a.m. on March 16.

For the most up-to-date information about City operations and traffic conditions, monitor the City of Austin's social media (@austintexasgov) and #SpringFestATX. The City of Austin also posts mobility, safety and useful Spring Festival information at

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Local Leaders Celebrate International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, and Texas’ First Female Dean of the Senate


AUSTIN, TX –On Thursday, March 7th, Council Member Alison Alter, Assistant City Manager Veronica Briseño, and the women of the Austin City Council marked International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month at City Hall. Over 100 attendees, including representatives from Austin’s state legislative delegation, the Travis County Commissioners Court, Austin ISD, Austin Community College, and the judiciary, joined the female Council majority and ACM Briseño for a ceremony in Council chambers, followed by a reception.

“Annually, we gather with local elected women and our executive and departmental leaders at City Hall to celebrate our achievements and progress. We also reflect on the barriers to gender parity that we’re still fighting and commit to helping one another,” said Council Member Alison Alter. “I am proud that we have a female majority on the Austin City Council, the Travis County Commissioners Court, our local state legislative delegation, the ACC and AISD boards of trustees, and other bodies.”

“At the City, about 6,383 of our employees, including 81 City executives, are women,” said Assistant City Manager Veronica Briseño. “In particular, I'm a proud co-founder of the City's Woman to Woman affinity group…We now have over 400 active members, many of whom attribute the relationships and connections they’ve made to Woman to Woman. When we include, empower, and invest in women, we accomplish so much more as an organization and community.”

Additionally, Council Member Vanessa Fuentes and Mayor Kirk Watson sponsored a proclamation honoring Dean Senator Judith Zaffirini, who was named the first female Dean of the Texas Senate on December 31, 2023. “Dean Zaffirini’s trailblazing accomplishments, work ethic, and relentless tenacity are worth celebrating,” said Council Member Fuentes. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to honor her legacy, which continues to inspire and empower women across our state and country.”

“Succeeding 24 men who have served as Dean of the Texas Senate since 1909 is an important milestone. We rejoice in shattering that ceiling, but are saddened and disappointed it took almost 180 years to do so. Equally important, how long will it take for a second woman to assume the title?” said Dean Senator Judith Zaffirini. “Our progress has been slow, but our pace clearly is quickening. I look forward to the day we no longer have to celebrate women’s ‘firsts,’ thereby giving us more time to celebrate our impact and accomplishments.”

“Gathering with these women has become one of my favorite traditions at City Hall, and it’s especially fitting for us to honor Senator Zaffirini’s historic achievement as part of Women’s History Month,” Council Member Alter added. “The theme of International Women’s Day this year is ‘Invest in women, accelerate progress.’ We know that when more women enter leadership roles, our entire community thrives.”

Emergency Messaging in American Sign Language Aims to Keep Deaf Community Informed


HSEM ensures accessible language access resources are available

In an emergency, having accessible information from a reliable source can save lives. The City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) established the Accessible Hazard Alert System (AHAS) to serve members of the community who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or deaf-blind or have limited literacy.
“HSEM is committed to providing equitable access of emergency information. When we engage with disability advocacy groups, we learn how to better serve members of our community who are sometimes left out of the conversation,” said Ken Snipes, Director of HSEM. “Our goal is to make sure organizations in the disability advocacy space have access to us and can see themselves represented in emergency plans.”
As part of the City’s emergency warnings process, HSEM sends emergency messages to registered users in American Sign Language (ASL) through the Accessible Hazard Alert System. AHAS issues a message with the information in video form and English voice and text. The video is of a person signing the emergency information in American Sign Language. Users receive these messages on internet and video capable devices such as computers, cell phones, smart phones, tablet computers, and wireless Braille readers. This information is also linked to the Emergency Alerts webpage,, where emergency information can be found in 14 languages.
Anyone who finds this service helpful is encouraged to register for emergency alerts in American Sign Language on the AHAS website or by texting AHAS to (737) 241-3710.