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Flowers and tree roots along Waller Creek

Bank Stabilization:

East Bank Completed
East Bank

Over the past 20 plus years, Waller Creek has been out of sight and out of mind. This reality has resulted in continued erosion of its banks.

Many decades ago, bank stabilization projects were done with limestone. However, in the 1950s and 1960s the use of concrete became commonplace. The result was a loss of natural feeling and look along Waller Creek.

The University of Texas at Austin is required under EPA Storm Water requirements to monitor many items related to the condition of Waller Creek. It became apparent that the erosion of the Waller Creek banks was not only unattractive but in several areas unsafe. After some discussions with the City of Austin Watershed Protection staff and university staff, it became apparent that work on the Waller Creek banks would be required in the next several years.

West Bank Completed
West Bank

To demonstrate how these projects could not only stabilize the creek banks but also create the vision described in the Campus Master Plan, the university's Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) office decided to undertake the Waller Creek Bank Stabilization Demonstration Project. The goal of the project was to demonstrate how to stabilize the banks of a very public section of Waller Creek in a manner that was attractive and would promote use by students and staff as a place to enjoy the beauty and calm nature of a small flowing creek.

The section of Waller Creek just above the 24th Street Bridge was chosen for the project. A professional engineer and landscape architect from the City of Austin (COA) agreed to help develop the plans during off hours. The EHS office obtained permission from the COA to assist with the project. The design was completed and approvals from various university groups were obtained. The project was completed with a few lessons learned, within established timelines and within budget. This project set the standard by which other Waller Creek bank stabilization projects will be conducted.

Overview of Completed Project

The area is very attractive and use by students and staff has increased. Many art students use the area for drawings and paintings. The spring and summer are real treats because the native plants, selected for attracting humming birds and butterflies, are in bloom.



Environmental Health & Safety

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