A low-water crossing on Avenue N in Marble Falls will be upgraded to a bridge. The city will mostly fund the project through grants. Staff photo by Brigid Cooley
Marble Falls City Council voted to move forward with plans to build an Avenue N bridge at Backbone Creek during its regular meeting Tuesday, March 2. The decision allows the city to accept grants and enter into project agreements with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Texas Water Development Board.
The Avenue N low-water crossing has raised concerns since it was flooded in October 2018, leaving Meadowlakes residents stranded between Backbone Creek and Lake Marble Falls. Since then, the city has pursued building a bridge at the site.
In January, the city was awarded FEMA grants to offset the $3.5 million estimated cost of the project. A $2.7 million grant from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will cover 75 percent of the project. The money will become available from the grant program as the city enters each phase of the project.
A Flood Infrastructure Fund grant awarded by the state water development board will cover an additional $662,000. The city has also accepted a zero-percent interest loan that will cover $233,000 of the project.
City Engineer Kacey Paul noted that project cost estimates are based on conceptual designs from 2019, which could result in cost fluctuations as construction proceeds.
Because the Avenue N crossing serves as the main entrance to the city of Meadowlakes, Marble Falls hopes to divide the remaining cost between the two cities through an interlocal agreement. The cities will meet March 8 to discuss a deal.