In 2010, voters in Austin approved a bond package that would create new water lines and gutters on Colorado Street. The $90 million deal has caused quite a ruckus in the Warehouse District as crews work from 3rd to 7th Streets, also giving the city wider sidewalks and streetscaping.
While there are complaints about the noise and the general construction mess, your tax dollars are at work. The mess is putting quite a damper on businesses in that area, but it is work that is necessary too.
“A lot of the infrastructure around downtown is just at that age that we need to go in and work on utility lines that are underneath downtown and we need streets to be completely reconstructed,” said Sara Hartley. Hartley is the City of Austin’s Public Works Department Communications Manager.
Happy hour crowds are seeking other areas to haunt after work and on weekends. Restaurants, too, are suffering. Parking has become a nightmare and people just choose to go other places to avoid the mess. Normally there would be quite a bustle around town as people generally enjoy spending time in the city, but with everything in a state of chaos, there’s no relief.
That’s not the end of it either. There is also construction on West 6th Street and Nueces. Add to that a totally separate project happening from 5th to 8th Streets as the city works to relocate the Little Shoal Creek tunnel.
Austin folks have to keep in mind that the construction projects are just temporary. The business slow-downs from it are temporary. Keeping the streets from flooding and causing greater, potentially more costly damage from happening is imperative.
Still, good news is around the corner. Storm drain construction for Little Shoal Creek will be finished by the end of 2012.
Colorado Street completion is still a ways out, looking at summer of 2013, but soon the construction will leave the Warehouse District and move further up Colorado Street in a few months. Then everyone will be able to breathe easy again.