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.
9/26/19 City Contractors will begin limited repairs on the trail beginning 9/30/19. Unfortunately the planned repairs do not meet our expectations -please see the homepage for more information on efforts to have the city properly complete the trail. We have waited 9 long years for the trail work to be done and it is time for the park to be restored!
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!
8/29/2019 We have received word that the City has authorized the contractor to repair erosion along the newly completed paved trail section between Amherst and the ball field near Scribe, as well as replace sections of trail that shifted and cracked. Parts of the trail will need to be temporarily closed for some of this work. We will try to provide advance notice as soon as we find out when they will be starting the repairs.
10/6/2018 update – construction of the final phase of the Northern Walnut Creek Trail in Balcones Park is moving along – walls and drainage culverts have been installed. Concrete pours for trail surface will be starting very soon, weather permitting!
Trail detours are still in effect – see the map in the 4/26/18 post below
4/26/2018 Balcones Park Trail Closures and Trail Construction Update
The City project to extend the Northern Walnut Creek Trail to Amherst is underway. Construction is expected to last approximately 6 months. This work has closed several trails – so we have put together a map to help navigate around the work area: 2018 NCWT DETOUR Please respect the “Trail/Sidewalk Closed” signs and “Restoration in Progress” signs. Also, please do not cut new trails – if not properly located new trails can cause soil erosion and damage vegetation. Some of the restoration in progress signs are a result of such trails. We will work with the City after construction is complete to reconnect existing trails where possible.
3/6/2018 Balcones Park Trail Project Meeting Announcement
10/30/2017 updates from City:
Current project that includes trail segment 1 and 2 (from Mopac to near the ballfield on Scribe drive – see map below)
“The City’s contractor has completed segment 2 of the trail in the park and begun planting trees. Once complete they will haul off any debris, remove most of the staging area fence, replace the backstop, and revegetate the park.
The project should be complete in November 2017. ”
Final trail segments (3, 4 &5 from the ball field to Amherst -see map below).
“The City of Austin continues to make progress on executing the contract for the Northern Walnut Creek Trail PH 1A project (5261.004) project. Below is an update on current and upcoming work.
Bids were opened on October 19, 2017 and the City is currently working with the apparent low bidder to execute the contract as soon as possible. The project should be ready to start construction soon after the new year & take approximately 6 months to complete. ”
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The current project that includes trail segment 1 and 2 (from Mopac to near the ballfield on Scribe drive – see map below) is nearly complete! the Trail has been poured, but a few retaining walls and curbs still need to be completed, as well as signs and landscaping, but the big parts are done!
Plans have been finalized and approved for the last trail segments (3, 4 &5 from the ball field to Amherst -see map below). According to the City, the project is set to be advertised for construction on 9/25/2017 and will be completed next year.
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Balcones Park Trail Meeting TONIGHT April 6 at 6:30pm (Reminder)
6:30 to 7:30pm
Covenant United Methodist Church (4410 Duval Road Austin, TX 78727)
TONIGHT – Thursday, April 6, 2017
We have been working very hard for YEARS to get this trail completed in a way that provides the best alignment for the users, park, and the environment. And we are SO close! This will likely be our last chance to weigh in on the plans and timeline. A high attendance will definitely show our neighborhoods’ passion for this trail to happen and happen quickly and result in the best product. The city has been working to hear our requests which have included shortening the project’s timeline, the alignment, the grade, the low water crossing and more! So we are thankful of that and it moving in the right direction BUT the more bodies we get there tonight, the better off we are. If you can – please attend.
We will also be giving a brief update on the Creekside Trail Repairs and that $117,000+ grant of which we still need to raise $6,000+ in matching funds!
Specifically, the meeting will be covering the Northern Walnut Creek Trail Segments from Mopac until connection into the trailhead in Balcones Park. Also to include the northern stage of Phase 1A (segments 3, 4, and 5) south of Scribe Drive between Amherst Drive and the south side of the baseball field in the Balcones District Park.
Also a huge shout out to Erik Harris who has poured so so many hours into this project!
Also Thanks to Clary Harris and Public Works staff who have graciously been working to implement our feedback into the trail design!