Cedar Park: City Agrees to a $194.4 Million Loan Application for Regional Water Project
Feature Illustrations: An illustration by Walker Partners concerning the Phase II land rights and stakeholder coordination for the Deep Water Intake Project.
by Art Benavidez
Cedar Park (Travis County) — City Council has agreed, by resolution, to a $194.4 million loan application that is to be submitted by Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) for a regional water project.
Cedar Park, along with Leander and Round Rock, are participating members of the BCRUA, a raw water supplier. Their permission is required before the BCRUA can proceed further on its plans to use the funds for its Phase II Deep Water Intake Project.
The BCRUA wants the Texas Water Development Board to arrange a loan through its State Water Implementation Fund for Texas.
The BCRUA Phase II project will include a permanent, deep-water intake structure on Lake Travis and a gravity tunnel to transmit the raw water to a new pump station.
Additionally, a raw water pipeline connecting the raw water pump station to two locations will be constructed.
The deep water intake, which will have a maximum capacity of treating 144.7 million gallons a day (MGD), will provide a reliable supply of raw water during droughts. The deep water intake will offer more capacity than the current floating intake, which was installed as a temporary solution and can only supply up to 32.5 MGD.
Approval of the SWIFT application is anticipated by the state water board in September, with bond funding and advertisement for bids expected by November. Bids are to be opened next spring and once construction begins it is estimated to take approximately five years.
Project elements include the deep water intake assembly, maintenance building, gravity flow tunnel, pump station, transmission tunnel, Pedernales Electric Cooperative power improvements, and off‐site improvements at the Cedar Park and BCRUA Water Treatment Plants.
The Phase II project was one of nine projects selected by the TWDB as a priority project to be considered for funding in 2021.
Cedar Park’s share of the $194.4 million is $75,310,000. The funding will cover the Phase II costs of engineering construction administration, construction and administration and inspection services.
This funding will be included in the proposed city’s fiscal year 2022 utility capital improvement budget.
TWDB required city council resolution authorizing the application.
BCRUA approved the application on Apr. 7 and Leander approved their resolution on Apr. 15, with Round Rock opting to use prior bond proceeds and cash to fund their portion of the project.
Phase III of the project is expected to begin in 2028.
Austin-based engineers Walker Partners are involved in the project.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.