Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Construction contract approved for Waterloo Greenway's second phase, The Confluence

On January 18, 2023, the Waller Creek Local Government Corporation (LGC) approved a contract with Jay-Reese Contractors, Inc. for construction of the second phase of Waterloo Greenway, The Confluence. The Confluence, formerly called the Creek Delta, is the continuation of the 35-acre Waterloo Greenway park and trail system along Waller Creek in downtown Austin. A public-private partnership between the City of Austin and Waterloo Greenway Conservancy help make this work possible. 

“We are thrilled to announce the selection of our construction partner, Jay‐Reese Contractors, who will help us bring the next phase of Waterloo Greenway to life and build upon their legacy of authentically-Austin projects,” said Waterloo Greenway CEO Jesús Aguirre. “The Confluence is an incredible example of how we can celebrate and preserve our green spaces in the middle of one of the busiest and most rapidly growing areas of downtown Austin. This next phase is centered around nature and helping connect our community to many amazing historic and cultural downtown destinations.” 

The Confluence, located at the southernmost point of the Waterloo Greenway, sits at the cultural epicenter of Palm Park, Rainey Street Historic District, Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, Austin Convention Center, Brush Square Park, and Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

“The LGC Board is excited to get to this next milestone for Waterloo Greenway,” said Waller Creek LGC President Rodney Gonzales. “As with Waterloo Park, we anticipate that, once completed, The Confluence will deliver upon the vision for a connected park system and creek restoration.” 

Using a design approach focused on sustainability and resiliency, this project will restore creek health and function, add new bridges and trail connections to downtown destinations and parks, improve water quality through innovative, stormwater treatment devices, and support economic development in the area.

The work includes reconstruction of the creek channel to stabilize severely eroded slopes, construction of creek features that create habitats for wildlife, native plants and trees along the riparian corridor, a biofiltration pond, inline stormwater treatment devices, new bridges and trails. The lush new landscape will include nearly 1,550 trees, 200,000 mature plants, and 10 acres of seed mixes to improve downtown air quality, improve creek health, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce the urban heat island effect. The Confluence is also pursuing certification under the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES), which recognizes sustainable land development projects that increase resiliency using nature-based solutions. Park-goers can enjoy a one-of-a-kind immersive experience within the 13-acre park, including the deepest and most ecologically diverse section of Waller Creek. 

”We are excited to collaborate with the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, Parks and Recreation Department, and other City of Austin departments on The Confluence,” said Watershed Protection Department Director Jorge Morales. “This project continues to move forward the Waller Creek District vision of a healthier downtown habitat and watershed.” 

Austin City Council Resolution 20200827-077 gave the Waller Creek Local Government Corporation the authority to approve City construction contracts within the Waterloo Greenway. The over $75 million project phase has received a combination of City and federal funding and private philanthropy. City of Austin funding, totaling over $50 million, comes from multiple departments, including Watershed Protection, Parks and Recreation, Development Services, Austin Energy, Convention Center, and Austin Water. Additionally, the project has received approximately $9 million in federal funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  

Waterloo Greenway Conservancy is seeking donations from the Austin community to reach its $13 million commitment to help fund construction of The Confluence. The Conservancy has a total of $38 million in support left to raise to complete design and construction of the full park project. 

Construction on The Confluence will begin in Spring 2023 with an estimated duration of two to three years, representing the next step toward completing the entire 1.5-mile park system that will connect Waterloo Greenway from 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake. Jay-Reese Contractors have worked on notable Austin projects including the Pfluger Bridge, Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake, and 2nd Street Bridge. 

For background information about the Waller Creek District and Tunnel, visit bit.ly/3J3ZNcf. For more information on Waterloo Greenway and sign up to receive project updates on The Confluence, visit waterloogreenway.org/future

[Link to Media Kit]

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About the Watershed Protection Department 

The Watershed Protection Department protects lives, property and the environment of our community by reducing the impact of flood, erosion and water pollution. We have a multi-tiered approach including a wide variety of ongoing programs such as Grow Green and the Lady Bird Lake Cleanup Crew; construction projects such as stormwater ponds and streambank restorations; and regulations to help prevent future problems. We are mostly funded by the drainage charge on utility bills.  

About Waterloo Greenway Conservancy 

Waterloo Greenway Conservancy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and maintain an extraordinary urban park system and a restored Waller Creek, in partnership with the City of Austin, for the benefit of all. The Conservancy renews the natural environment, promotes play, health and wellness, economic vitality and mobility, and engages the community through outreach, education, cultural events, and the arts. 

About the Parks and Recreation Department 

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) seeks to inspire our community to learn, play, protect and connect by creating diverse programs and experiences in sustainable natural spaces and public places. PARD protects and maintains parkland, urban forest, and trails as well as offering sports, recreation, educational enrichment, arts programs, cultural opportunities, and nature and aquatic activities for Austinites. 

About the Waller Creek Local Government Corporation  

The Waller Creek Local Government Corporation was created under Texas Transportation Code Chapter 431 to assist with the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Waller Creek Redevelopment Project. The purpose of the corporation is the implementation of the financing, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of certain public improvements located within or around the Waller Creek District.

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