Nearly a decade’s worth of work to improve the dam at Brushy Creek Lake Park came to a successful conclusion last week as officials from several governmental entities gathered to cut the ribbon and officially open the newly modernized dam.
The $18 million project brought the dam into compliance with current state dam safety regulations and utilizes a labyrinth weir design which is intended to sifnitivanly increase the spillway capacity without requiring an increase in the dam’s overall footprint.
"The Dam 7 modernization project at Brushy Creek Lake Park is the culmination of efforts begun nearly a decade ago to bring an aging structure up to current design standards to protect downstream residents and property in the event of a severe flood,” said Upper Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District board president Jeff Sawyer.
A new trail across the dam was widened to 12 feet and includes an entry plazan and an overlook area.
The district also partnered with Austin Water to relocate an existing wastewater line around the spillway. In addition to the Dam 7 project, Williamson County also upgraded the segment of the trail from the dam to Champion Park.
The project engineer for the Dam 7 improvements was Freese and Nichols and the contractor was ASI Constructors. The City of Cedar Park granted a construction easement for the dam and trail improvements. Williamson County and the city of Cedar Park will jointly maintain the trail.
“We are excited to reopen one of the most popular trails in central Texas that provides connectivity between Round Rock and Cedar Park,” said Williamson County Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long.
The Brushy Creek Regional Trail winds along Brushy Creek from Great Oaks Drive west to US 183 in Cedar Park. The parks that lie along the trail provide many different amenities accessible to walkers, runners and bikers. Together, the parks and a collaboration of splash pads, swimming areas, fishing docks, canoeing and kayaking, restrooms and multiple picnic and pavilion areas.
“This section reflects an upgrade in our trail design to resist erosion and continuous maintenance challenges. With the backdrop of a newly rehabilitated dam reminding us the importance of flood control in the Brushy Creek watershed, this deeply loved trail will prevail through our many heavy rains and give us many, many years of support for our outdoor endeavors,” said Williamson County Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Cook.