A $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help launch the second phase of Waterloo Greenway park in downtown Austin.
The federal funding will support reconstructing a stretch parkland along Waller Creek between Lady Bird Lake and Fourth Street that has deteriorated due to repeated flooding. Army Corps engineers will bring in 1,550 trees, 200,000 mature plants and 10 acres of seed mixes.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding comes from the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The grant was announced at an April 25 news conference.
“With City of Austin funding and generous private support, Waterloo Greenway is already contributing so much to our community. Now we have secured federal dollars to back up this local investment,” says U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin). “This $9 million represents both the first benefit to Austin from the new infrastructure law and the very first environmental infrastructure project to ever be approved in the state of Texas.”
The $9 million is the first federal investment for the public-private collaboration involving the city of Austin and the nonprofit Waterloo Greenway Conservancy. The ultimate goal is to create a 1.5-mile chain of parks along Waller Creek from 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake. The total estimated cost for the entire project is $265 million. The city committed approximately $150 million through bond funding, the Waller Creek Tax Increase Reinvestment Zone, and other sources.
The first phase opened last year with the Waterloo Park and Moody Amphitheater.
The new landscaping project will begin in October at the Greenway’s southernmost point, which Waterloo Greenway Conservancy has named the Confluence. It includes Palm Park, Rainey Street, the Mexican American Cultural Center, and the Butler Hike & Bike Trail.