breaking news

DPS names 7 accused of license plate fraud at Travis County tax office

Commentary: Legal dispute has no impact on Waller Creek development


At last fall’s groundbreaking, Waller Creek Conservancy CEO Peter Mullan stated, “Waterloo Park will become a new hub of activity, a new center for the city. A place that builds a sense of belonging to the city – something that makes us feel part of something bigger than ourselves, and that connects us to each other.”

We agree — and, while there will be challenges along the way, rest assured tunnel performance is not one of them.

A once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a premier amenity for all of Austin to enjoy, the Waller Creek parks project is made possible by a unique public-private partnership between the city of Austin and the nonprofit Waller Creek Conservancy.

There is a rich history to be found on the banks of the creek, extending into the surrounding parkland and beyond. But until recently, flooding in the district has posed a threat. Most notorious are Austin’s 1915 flood and the Memorial Day flood of 1981, both of which resulted in fatalities and significant property loss.

RELATED: Judge denies request to block Waller Creek Tunnel contract termination.

The need for a solution was urgent. Beginning construction in 2011, the Waller Creek Flood Control Tunnel tames the waters of Waller Creek, resulting in safety for residents and businesses alike. Today, we know that the tunnel works. It passed tests for a 100-year storm event and reduces the floodplain south of the inlet facility located in Waterloo Park.

What you have read in the news recently about the tunnel concerns a contractual negotiation between the city and its contractor. Waller Creek Conservancy is not a party to the dispute, and the legal issues have no impact on the vision we share for Waller Creek or its implementation. Let us be clear: The parks project is moving ahead as planned and without delay.

VOTE TRACKER: The Statesman is logging the City Council’s votes on high-interest issues.

For all of you who have supported Waller Creek parks with your time or your treasure, we thank you, and we look forward to celebrating future achievements together.

Removing the threat of floodwater has allowed us to dream big about what this area can and will be: a vibrant chain of parks that will help us achieve a range of civic priorities from increased green infrastructure to becoming a city space that welcomes the wonderful differences in cultures, ages, and levels of abilities. By leveraging the expertise of an interdisciplinary team of city departments and Austin’s philanthropic community, we are restoring the natural ecosystem of the creek and building unique park space. We are also weaving together East with West, North with South, and Austin’s historic legacy with its innovative future.

Right now, with the Waterloo Park construction project under way, it is easy to focus on the physical transformation that will happen at Waller Creek: It will be significant and beautiful. But what excites us most is what this means for our community: a transformation that transcends what we see on the ground. We recognize, now more than ever, the need to create places in our city that encourage and honor diversity through the promotion of inclusion and mutual respect.

Waller Creek will be a place for all Austinites. We invite you to build it and experience it with us.

Adler is mayor of Austin; Tovo, Houston and Renteria are City Council members.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: The fall of the German empire

The first modern German empire was announced by Otto von Bismarck at Versailles in 1871; it died on the Western Front in 1918. The second German empire was forged in a swift march of annexations and blitzkriegs; it lasted seven terrible years, from the Anschluss to the bunker, and died with Hitler and his cult. The third German empire is a different...
Letters to the editor: May 21, 2018

Breakthrough! Refreshing news: President Trump’s lead lawyer says he wanted to have “the Hillary Clinton treatment” for the president. What a breakthrough for transparency. Clinton was treated to 11-plus hours of testimony to Congress, her files and servers turned over to the FBI, and Republican leaders asked the Justice Department...
Opinion: Trump breaks bread, glasses and party at lunch

POTUS coming to Tuesday lunch. Translated, the president of the United States is joining 50 Republican senators in the Capitol to crash their private Tuesday lunch. Nobody is glad to hear this on the Senate side. We love the constitutional separation of powers. The Senate is the last citadel of democracy, they say. We in the press are free as birds...
Opinion: Just saying yes to drug companies

Last week we learned that Novartis, the Swiss drug company, had paid Michael Cohen — Donald Trump’s personal lawyer — $1.2 million for what ended up being a single meeting. Then, on Friday, Trump announced a “plan” to reduce drug prices. Why the scare quotes? Because the “plan” was mostly free of substance...
Facebook comments: May 20, 2018
Facebook comments: May 20, 2018

In recent commentary the American-Statesman’s Bridget Grumet wrote about the uncertainty that those who receive federal housing aid are facing after Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson unveiled a proposal to raise the rents on millions of households who receive the assistance. “Be grateful for your good fortune if you don&rsquo...
More Stories