02-02-2020 update – The Parks Board has taken an active interest in the proper completion of the trail project and we can report limited success in some areas following our presentation to the Board on Nov. 22, 2019. Several Parks Board members visited the park and scheduled a staff update on the trail completion for the 1/28/2020 Board Meeting. At the 1/28/2020 Parks Board Meeting, staff asserted that the project is complete except for replacing a damaged sign post and revegetation of the ball field area. Apparently this was not the case as the next day the contractor was out adding more erosion control blanket and have apparently been directed to continue revegetation efforts due to lack of stabilization along many areas of the trail.
Here is the current status of issues raised by the neighborhood:
Flex base erosion – the worst areas of the flex base (crushed limestone) erosion were replaced with vegetation and grass in November 2019, however the flex base was left in other parts of the park and continues to be tracked onto the pavement and washed into the creeks. Staff have indicated they will monitor and maintain the trail shoulder as necessary. We continue to maintain that periodically dumping another load of crushed limestone on the side of the trail is a terrible way to maintain a park and will just repeat the cycle of erosion and pollution.
Dead Trees and shrubs – approximately 41 trees and shrubs were replaced in mid January 2020. Since the contractor’s warranty period is about to expire, we have continually asked how the trees will be cared for and watered to make sure the $60,000 investment in landscaping is not wasted as occurred on the previous trail section (Scribe to Mopac). Staff indicates that they are working on a plan to water trees and will look into how to address the trees that died in the Scribe to Mopac section. We hope they will have a plan in place before summer arrives.
Other items, cracked pavement has been repaired, missing stop sign replaced, defective curb ramp at Scribe has been rebuilt.
Overall project restoration – the City code requires that all areas disturbed by construction be restored with perennial vegetation. Restoration is considered ccomplete when the vegetation coverage reaches 95% with no bare areas larger than 16 square feet. Most of the trail side areas have not reached this standard and the project has not been accepted by the environmental compliance inspector.
10-22-19 update – see videos of flex base runoff vs. vegetated shoulder at https://photos.app.goo.gl/ceieoERDVcegxsBp9
Several neighbors are planning to bring this issue to the Parks Board this evening at 6 PM. Please email or call the parks board if you want the flex base replaced and to demand the dead trees planted along the trail be replaced and a tree care plan implemented.
9-23-2019 update as of this morning, Council Member Leslie Pool has engaged Public Works and Parks departments to address the issues identified here. But we are not there yet- past efforts to correct the issues were met with empty promises.
Please thank CM Pool for her leadership and continue to contact department heads, boards and commissions (see the bottom of the Walnut Creek trail – Replace the Base! page for updated contacts). Thank You!
9-22-2019 Attention Neighbors, Trail and Park users and Friends of Balcones Park
We have an urgent plea for your assistance!
You may have noticed the shoddy state of the most recent section of the Northern Walnut Creek Trail in Balcones Park between Amherst and the ballfield by Scribe Drive. After months of delay, the city has announced that they will be performing limited repairs beginning 9/30/19 as follows:
1-addressing erosion & drainage issues,
2-cracked slabs and portions of the trail that have been undermined,
3- runoff issues at Scribe Drive.
MNA has pressed the city repeatedly to provide clarification regarding fixing specific design defects that have led to gravel eroding from the side of the trail and washing onto the pavement and into the creek.
THE LATEST ANSWER FROM THE CITY IS THEY NOT GOING TO REPLACE OTHER AREAS OF THE ERODING TRAIL EDGE – please see the linked page for more information and what we need to do to get action on this issue!