Waller Creek design winner to be announced this week

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by JESSICA VESS /KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 7:29 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 1:38 PM

AUSTIN  -- A downtown Austin makeover project will soon take a big step forward. On Tuesday morning, the winner in the Waller Creek design project will be finalized.

"It's an international design competition that has partnered landscape architects and architects from around the world to study and come up with a new, fresh vision for Waller Creek," said Executive Director of the Waller Creek Conservancy Stephanie Lee McDonald. 

The creek offers prime real estate downtown, but it's hardly used and parts are overgrown. The makeover will change that. The idea is to create more outdoor parks rather than a shopping and restaurant district like you see at the Riverwalk in San Antonio.

A panel of judges narrowed a list of 31 submissions down to four. The final four design teams made presentations to city leaders earlier this month.

Suggestions include a maze of walkways, an open park and swimming area, an amphitheater and a series of new running paths.

“It's the city's hopes that this will be the catalyst for not only a safer area around the creek, but could lead to a more vibrant area and attract people to come downtown and enjoy it,” said Carolyn Perez of the City of Austin Public Works Department.

No timetable is set for construction. The goal is to start the new development as work continues on the Waller Creek Tunnel Project currently underway.

Council members must still give their approval for the design plan and the project. They meet on Thursday to take a vote.

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