Over the river and through... the Waller Creek Boathouse?


    Less than a decade after the city pushed aside the previous Waller Creek Boathouse, some are concerned they may have to move again for another city project. (CBS Austin)

    Less than a decade after the city pushed aside the previous Waller Creek Boathouse, some are concerned they may have to move again for another city project.

    Cap Metro approved a vision map showing which corridors will see high capacity transit in the future in Austin. One of those corridors is a route from downtown to the airport. Some are concerned that could go on Trinity Street and over the river at the Waller Creek Boathouse.

    “Whether that’s knocking out the boathouse or something else, we didn’t know,” executive director of Austin Rowing Club Kevin Reinis said.

    Reinis said that’s why they had someone stop by Cap Metro at Monday’s board meeting to voice on the record their questions.

    “Just to say hey we’re here, love to talk with you,” Reinis said.

    That’s partly because they’re no stranger to moving for the city. The Waller Creek Tunnel Project took down their old building, so the city built a new building right next door.

    Then there were fears the 2014 rail project would go through that building as well.

    Fast forward to 2018, they’re uncertain how the future transit projects will affect their building.

    “We just hope that connection of the city and residents to the access and the beautiful lake is something that gets maintained,” Reinis said.

    Cap Metro CEO Randy Clarke responded in the meeting by saying everything is very preliminary. Over the next two years they’ll work with the community and engineers to find the best way for transit corridors to cross the river.

    “I wouldn’t look at this and say anything is definitive on any specific piece it’s more visionary for us to do engineering and work with the community to put more details together,” Clarke said.

    There were also talks in the meeting to build a new bridge at 1st Street for both the Riverside corridor and Congress to Lamar corridor in Project Connect.

    Reinis also suggested building a bridge to the east of them. He even joked the bridge could go up and over the boathouse.

    Even if the worst case scenario happens and they do have to take down their building, he said they’ll just find a new location.

    “If there is another change in plan that says knock the boathouse down again we certainly would like to work with the city as we did before of okay where’s the new home,” Reinis said.

    Reinis said they’ll be very involved in the public input process that’s set to start in January, 2019.

    Clarke said the Boathouse is high on their list of people to talk with in January.

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