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Construction Interest – Discover Phase 2 of Waterloo Greenway, The Confluence

Construction industry professionals are invited to learn more about upcoming Waterloo Greenway projects by reading the following overview below.

Following the successful reconstruction and community opening of Waterloo Park in 2021, we now look forward to breaking ground on our next park phase later this year at The Confluence.

We invite you to learn more about Waterloo Greenway and our vision for a 1.5-mile vibrant park system, connecting Waterloo Park at 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake, with community gathering spaces, gardens, and trails around a restored Waller Creek.

View presentation here from our open houses on April 13 & 14, and read on for Q&A from our two sessions. View attendee sign-in sheet. For more information, email us at info@waterloogreenway.org.

Open House Q&A

Wednesday, April 13

Q: Are you anticipating obligating contractors with the bonding and guaranteeing with performance standards of LEED or a typical 1-year, 2-year warranty period?

A: Being decided still, some SITES performance standards are lifelong and something that the contractor probably wouldn’t stick around for and others probably would be a bit longer than the typical 1-year standards.

Q: When do you expect to begin advertising? May, June?

A: Right now we’re hoping for the end of May.

Q: Are you still waiting on the final permit?

A: Yes, we expect our permits in a couple weeks.

Q: Has there been coordination with Project Connect? Has any work in the area of the bridge been coordinated with them to not compete in the same area?

A: That’s right, they are a bit behind us in their timeline. We’ve coordinated closely, we won’t have any issues competing for space or any overlapping with their structure in areas. 

Q: Is this TxDOT (in reference to Project Connect)?

A: This is CapMetro. They are building the Blue Line along Trinity Street, so right near us, but not overlapping with our project area, but a key connection once they get going. We don’t expect them to get started until we’re done.  

Q: In your presentation, it shows three lattice bridges with the 3rd listed with an asterisk as option, is that still the case? Or all three will be as part of this bid?

A: So the way we have structured it is that the 3rd bridge is an add-alternate, but is the first one and a priority. As a program we are very strongly prioritizing and you will see it in the bid package.

Q: Are there other add-alternates?

A: That’s the primary one. There are a few others to be included in the bidding process, but that’s the biggest one.

Q: I heard from a colleague who was tracking the LGC board meeting, that TxDOT was being required to do impact studies in the area, do y’all foresee that impacting the construction schedule?

A: No, we don’t think so. Really the work in that area is us trying to get out in front and ahead of them and coordinate with them. That project is going to be 10 years behind us. So really, what we’re trying to do is make sure what we put in here has a connection and makes sense. Sort of a future-proofing exercise.

Q: That’s a TxDOT project?

A: TxDOT’s project is IH-35, working with Austin Transportation Department, they’re going to likely redesign and re-build the bridge for the Red Line that goes over the highway, and that’ll impact the 4th Street Bridge.

Q: Will all permits be acquired or under permitting as the contractors are acquired?

A: Permitting will be done, Site Development and building permits.   

Q: Assuming all plans will show tree protection or some tree removal?

A: Yes, some heritage trees will stay in place, there will be some tree protection zones as part of SITES, and those are all identified in the bid package.

Q: There are a diverse array of disciplines here, are you able to speak to project experience or speciality sub-contractor experience you expect to require on the back end or for certifications for qualified bids? Site specific things you don’t typically see from City of Austin typical requirements?

A: I can speak looking back to Waterloo Park. Having someone strong working in a creek and de-watering is a critical thing. As was pointed out with the bridges, we had complicated metals, custom structures, custom fabrication, coordination associated with the electrical, handrails to bridges, and in this case, the canopy structure. Those were critical elements of the work that will carry from here to there. The start of these spaces is the landscape, so having a strong landscape background is critical. 

It’s such a complicated area so coordination with adjacent properties, with all the developments in the Rainey area will be extraordinarily important. It’s a constrained area, so access to the creek will be important. It is a highly trafficked area, there are users who use the trail, who use Palm Park, etc. 

Whoever takes this project will have very involved partners in us and the City of Austin, communication coordination with the city of Austin and neighbors. Chris [Perkes} and his colleagues at the City at the owner team and coordination along the way will be an important aspect of this project.

Thursday, April 14

Q: Will you also be posting on the City of Austin procurement site?

A: Yes, it will be a public procurement process. The City of Austin is holding the contract, but we will be a very active partner in that process.

Q: Will it be a low bid or proposal?

A: I believe it will be a low bid.

Q: Do you guys have an estimated value?

A: We have worked with a cost-estimator, but I’m not sure we can share the information from the specific cost estimator. If you look on the City’s CIP projects spreadsheet, it does have the initial estimated value.

Q: Do you have a timeframe for the construction? Window of time for construction?

A: That will also be part of the bid package.

Q: Can you email us these slides?

A: Yes, it will be posted on the project website with the other Q&A session will also be posted afterwards.

Q: Will you also post all of the attendees from this and last night’s meeting?

A: I don’t know the answer to that question, but I will pass that along and we will figure the answer out based on the City’s contracting process. Update: Attendee sign in sheet is now available, view here.

Q: How long do you expect the bidding process to take?

A: I don’t know the answer, but I will pass it to the City’s CCO, it will be a standard bid process. I know that we are leaving 5-6 months from bid date to groundbreaking for contract negotiation and execution.

Q: If you don’t get all your permits, will that push things back a bit?

A: We’re very close with all permits, we’re basically in informal on our site development permit, so small steps left there, building permits we anticipate shortly, and our Army Corp permit we anticipate in the coming weeks or month.

Q: Can you talk about doing the work in the surrounding area? Do people know what’s going on?

A: Yeah absolutely, it’s a very urbanized area with lots of projects and construction action. We’ve been communicating with folks closely for years and anticipate we will continue that with our contractor. Chris [Perkes] and his colleagues at Watershed Protection and Parks and Recreation are the day-to-day project managers. They will be maintaining those channels of communication, and that will be very critical for us as a non-profit and for our partners as a public agency. There’s a lot of construction around us, so how we get in and how we get out, where we stage will be a critical part of the bid. In the bid package, we will be able to share where there is public land access for staging on parkland, but it is a constrained area with a lot of adjacent sites.

Q: Which firm is working on drawings?

A: Led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates out of New York. They did Brooklyn Bridge Park, Gathering Place in Tulsa, St. Louis Gateway Arch, Bush Library. We have a large local team supporting them: WGI is the civil, DWG is the local landscape architect, so a big team supporting them. Same team from [Waterloo] park to that park.

Q: This is phase 1 (referring to Waterloo Park)?

A: Correct.

Q: Based on this, what was your biggest challenge?

A: Biggest challenge in phase I was the pandemic happening and impacts to supply chain and labor. Figuring out how to work on a construction site consistently with healthy & safety considerations. In this first section of creek work we figured out how to redesign Waller Creek. Some smaller challenges along the way, we made some modifications along the way, like in-ground electrical boxes that were technically waterproof, but not practically waterproof. 

Waterloo Greenway Map