79° F Thursday, June 22, 2017
COURTESY IMAGE  As contractors work to repair a section of Lakeway Boulevard that is starting to fail, the city will divert westbound traffic onto Lakeway Drive to Dragon, then west to Flamingo and south to Lakeway Boulevard.
COURTESY IMAGE

As contractors work to repair a section of Lakeway Boulevard that is starting to fail, the city will divert westbound traffic onto Lakeway Drive to Dragon, then west to Flamingo and south to Lakeway Boulevard.

A dip that suddenly formed in a section of Lakeway Boulevard near Lakeway Drive on April 26 prompted the city to shut down the southbound lanes to all traffic as it investigated the cause.

Lakeway City Manager Steve Jones said city engineers believe the bottoms of four 70-foot long corrugated metal pipes that carry Hurst Creek under Lakeway Boulevard have started to rust as water travels through them, which caused them to sink and create a void under the northern side of the roadway.

“We don’t know how big that void is,” Jones said. “It’s been slowly sinking, but if the void is big enough it could just cave in.”

He noted that the void does not appear to be affecting the southern side of Lakeway Boulevard.

At an emergency City Council meeting April 30, council members approved a $439,500 plan that would completely close all lanes of Lakeway Boulevard to vehicle traffic for four to six consecutive days as contractors replace the metal pipes with four reinforced concrete box culverts. The project is expected to take about four to five weeks to complete repairs.

“It could collapse any minute,” Councilman Dave Taylor said. “I’m in favor of closing it. I know the detour is a pain.”

The detour will divert westbound vehicles north on Lakeway Drive to Dragon, then west to Flamingo and south to Lakeway Boulevard.

Jones said Tuesday that contractors expected to begin work Wednesday or today to clear both ends of the pipes and erect a dam to dry out the creek.

By the middle of next week, the road should be ready to be closed for about a week to put in the concrete pipes. Afterward, city engineers hope to re-open two lanes to traffic while work continues on the westbound lanes.

“Be patient with us,” Jones said of the impact on drivers. “We’re working as hard as we can to get the road back open as quickly as we can get it. Pardon our dust for a few days.”

He will prepare a funding plan for council members to review at their next regular meeting May 20.

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