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Photos: Waller Creek Tunnel Project at Waterloo Park

City officials say they're making progress on the Waller Creek Tunnel Project.

Construction crews at Waterloo Park have wrapped up excavating the tunnel and are moving on to building a treatment plant that will help filter floodwaters.

The project is aimed at protecting the area around the creek against flooding in the future by diverting water out of the floodplain just west of I-35 and into a tunnel that empties into Lady Bird Lake.

Project manager Gary Jackson says that a 30-foot deep collection pool will help mitigate the impact of a flood, but that it will also feature a complicated filtration system.

“The reason that water’s going to be so deep and so wide is to dampen that energy of the flood as it comes,” Jackson said. “It’s going to function like a shock absorber. As the flash flood comes down, it will dissipate it and spread out the energy.”

Jackson added that the pool will also feature a water-jet system that will funnel any debris into a pipe separate from the tunnel. The debris will then be collected by a monorail-driven claw located in a treatment plant in Waterloo Park.

When it's finished, the tunnel will stretch nearly a mile long, measuring up to 26 feet in diameter. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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