The city of Cedar Park, Texas had been grappling with the challenges posed by a low water crossing at Brushy Creek. The closure of Krienke Ranch Road for several years due to repeated washouts and unsafe conditions has had a significant impact on traffic flow and emergency vehicle accessibility. In an effort to address these issues, the city sought the expertise of WSB to design a cost-effective roadway that would reopen the route without compromising drainage, particularly in the upstream floodplain.
WSB took into consideration a range of complex factors including frequent overtopping, limited space, erosion control, constrained right of way, driver safety, and no-rise requirements upstream from the project. One specific concern raised by landowners was the potential impact on their properties and the need for the new structure to blend aesthetically with the community. WSB responded to these concerns by developing a series of options that allowed the city to evaluate the cost-benefit of different solutions while ensuring no adverse effects on the upstream floodplain. Visual renderings of the proposed structure were also created to provide residents with a clear understanding of how the project would fit into the surrounding environment.
The final design put forward by WSB incorporated the conveyance of a two-year storm event, with provisions for overtopping during larger storm events. Advanced warning systems and gates were included to allow for the closure of the roadway during flood conditions. This comprehensive approach not only provides enhanced connectivity for the community but also safeguards property owners from upstream flooding and ensures the safety of the drivers.
Additionally, for the past five years, the closure of the low water crossing at Brushy Creek has been causing significant inconvenience. The frequent flooding has led to safety hazards, including the accumulation of dangerous algae on the bridge, resulting in accidents for bicyclists. To address this challenge, WSB developed an innovative solution, an alternative low-water bridge class box crossing design. This design allows high water to flow beneath the bridge instead of over it, eliminating the need for standard bridge railings. With a smooth deck top, warning signs, and closing arms, this approach prioritizes public safety during hazardous water levels. Moreover, the low-water bridge design proves to be a more cost-effective solution compared to a standard bridge, saving the community over a million dollars. This alternative option will enhance local traffic conditions and provide peace of mind for residents.
The efforts of Cedar Park and WSB in addressing the issues surrounding the low water crossing at Brushy Creek have resulted in the creation of a new and improved Krienke Ranch Road. This project not only adds value to the community by enhancing connectivity but also ensures the protection of properties from flooding and prioritizes the safety of drivers and pedestrians.