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Water line installation for Austin's tallest tower could close portion of Red River Street for several weeks

The contractor hopes the road closures will be cleared up before the South by Southwest festival in March.

AUSTIN, Texas — A portion of Red River Street could soon shut down as crews work to install a waterline for a new tower in Downtown Austin.

According to a City memo, the Austin Transportation Department has received a permit request from the 98 Red River site – or the Waterline tower – to close the street from East Cesar Chavez to Driskill streets so that crews can install chilled water lines. The department has estimated construction to last around 20 weeks, including a full roadway closure in the area to last four weeks.

"ATD has reviewed the contractor’s permit request, along with the contractor’s traffic control plan and engineering justification, to help ensure minimal public disruption and to maintain pedestrian access on Red River during all phases of construction," the memo states.

The contractor for the project reported that a 20-foot excavation will require segments of pipe to be installed at once, and roads must be closed at times while the trench and machinery will take up the roadway. 

"Based on the plans, and engineering justification provided, it appears that the only feasible way to install the water lines is to close Red River Street as per the plan submitted by the contractor," the department states in the memo.

The contractor expects work to begin this January, with completion before the South by Southwest festival in March.

"Should work not be completed, the contractor is expected to temporarily restore the roadway before South by Southwest and will only be allowed to continue after the event," the memo states.

Read the memo in full.

Boomtown is KVUE's series covering the explosive growth in Central Texas. For more Boomtown stories, head to KVUE.com/Boomtown.

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