Austin
12:26 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Downtown Wastewater Tunnel Opens Up

You could call it one of the dirty details of being a rapidly-growing city: upgrading infrastructure to move wastewater to treatment plants.

Today marks the end of one of the largest and most complex wastewater infrastructure projects built in Austin over the last decade. City leaders are ceremonially cutting a ribbon for the completion of the Austin Downtown Wastewater Tunnel this afternoon.

The project was built in response to the rapid growth of the downtown area. The city says the two major sewer lines in downtown were installed more than 50 years ago, were near capacity and had limited ability to take additional sewer flows.

The four-mile long wastewater tunnel provides the additional capacity needed for existing and future growth in central Austin. It will serve downtown and parts of south Austin—crossing under Lady Bird Lake three times.

The new system was designed using materials like resin instead of traditional concrete in hopes of extending its longevity.

Construction cost close to $40 million and was expected to be complete in March of this year.