Williamson County and the Upper Brushy Creek WCID will hold a joint ribbon cutting on improvements to Dam 7 and the Brushy Creek Regional Trail (BCRT) around the dam. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 10 a.m. at the overlook along the trail on top of Dam 7. The event is free and open to the public.
Dam 7 is located on Brushy Creek by the City of Cedar Park’s Brushy Creek Lake Park, 3300 Brushy Creek Rd, Cedar Park, Texas. Parking is available at Brushy Creek Lake Park with a shuttle available to the overlook from the eastern parking lot. The last shuttle will leave for the event at 9:45 a.m. Walking distance to the event along the BCRT is approximate 0.6 miles and 10- to 15-minute walk. Allow time to walk (if preferred along trail) and wear comfortable shoes. Please note that no restrooms are available at the ribbon cutting site; however, there are restrooms in Brushy Creek Lake Park.
The approximately $18 million construction project included modernizing Dam 7 and bringing it into compliance with current state dam safety regulations. As part of this project, an innovative labyrinth weir design was used to significantly increase the auxiliary spillway capacity within the existing dam 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. Many skills and disciplines were involved from a variety of key sources including project planners and engineers and their support teams; City, County, and District elected officials as well as their full-time staffs; and the construction team that moved the dirt, poured the concrete, and polished the final features. We must also recognize the contributions of each and every property owner in the District whose taxes were prudently used to fund the planning, design and construction of the upgrades to Dam 7,” said Jeff Sawyer, Upper Brushy Creek WCID board president.
“This project is a good representation of the efforts that have been done in the past and that will continue to be done in accordance with the mission of the UBCWCID. Over the past 15 years, the District has successfully modernized 20 of its 23 flood control dams, and the other three structures will be upgraded within the next 5 years. This particular site is also one that provides a large measure of wholesome recreation to many residents who appreciate the opportunity to cycle and run the trails, fish and kayak the lake, and enjoy the beautiful park and surrounding terrain. Thank you to all who contributed to this modernization project and to making this part of Central Texas a wonderful place to visit and to call home."
The District partnered with Williamson County to replace and upgrade the BCRT across the dam as part of the project. The new trail across the dam is wider at 12 feet and includes an entry plaza and overlook. The District also partnered with Austin Water to relocate an existing wastewater line around the spillway. 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. The City and County 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 Commissioner Cynthia Long, Precinct 2. “It was great working with Upper Brushy Creek WCID. Working with them has resulted in better access for the public.”
In addition to the Dam 7 project, Williamson County also upgraded the segment of the trail from the dam to Champion Park. The contractor for the county’s adjacent trail project was Westar Construction.
“We’ve waited far longer than we had hoped to have continuity in the Brushy Creek Regional Trail; however, 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 Commissioner Terry Cook, Precinct 1.
About the Brushy Creek Regional Trail: The 6.75-mile long Brushy Creek Regional Trail winds along Brushy Creek from east of Great Oaks Drive west to US 183 in Cedar Park and has extensive landscaping and scenic views. 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. For more information, go to www.wilco.org/parks
About the Upper Brushy Creek WCID: The District is responsible for the operation and maintenance of 23 flood control dams within the Upper Brushy Creek watershed in the Brazos River Basin in Williamson County, Texas. For more information, visit upperbrushycreekwcid.org.