City of Marble Falls asks for bids in $3 million parks upgrades launch



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Marble Falls city officials have asked for bids on a portion of the first phase of a parks improvement plan. Areas targeted for upgrades and improvement include the Lake Marble Falls Lakeshore Drive boat ramp (Hays Addition boat ramp), Lakeside Park infrastructure and amenities re-locations and upgrades as well as restroom facilities in Johnson Park.






Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

In the aftermath of the October flood event, Marble Falls city officials are “moving forward as originally planned” with accepting bids on the $3 million phase 1A component of a multi-faceted parks improvement plan, ranging from a shoreline retaining wall to mitigate flood damage to new amenities such as a planned man-made beach in Lakeside Park.

City officials hosted a mandatory pre-bid conference Nov. 14 at Lakeside Pavilion to share information with engineers, members of the construction industry and infrastructure representatives who could become involved in projects.

“The city is following our original plan for moving forward with several of our Capital Improvement projects this year,” City Manager Mike Hodge said in a statement.

City staff believes the existing plan coincides with needed fixes and future flooding considerations.

“We suffered damage to a few of our parks (Lakeside and Johnson) and some of our facilities; mainly the office and control building at the wastewater plant, the animal control building, both of the raw water intakes at the water plant, two lift stations and various low water crossings.

“We are still evaluating the extent and cost of the damage,” he added.

City officials said they learned from past flood issues in the design of the current parks improvements plans.

“During the 2007 Flood, the city spent several million dollars on flood recovery because we did not carry insurance on our facilities. This time it is a different story, in that all of our facilities that sustained damage were also insured,” Hodge said. “So we are waiting for the adjusters and engineers to return their assessments and we anticipate the city’s deductible payment will be relatively low.”

In the meantime, several industry and construction companies have launched into action to vy for contracts to start the work.

The phase 1A projects are as follows:

Lakeside park

• Improved retaining walls for lake shore;

• 400 feet of sandy beach with shallow water interactions areas and Lake access points and a rinse station;

• Multi-purpose event water access point (Lakeside Park boat ramp pending closure); For pedestrian use only except during events;

• Formal “streetscape” with parallel and angled parking, trees, sidewalks, street lighting, sidewalks and trails;

• Electrical system for seasonal lighting;

• Landscaping including irrigation system;

• Lakeside Pavilion parking.

Buena Vista Drive (adjacent to Lakeside Park);

• Underground electric utilities and water/wastewater/re-use water infrastructure upgrades;

• Street reconstruction.

Johnson Park

• Boat ramp driveway and parking upgrades;

• Restroom replacement.

Hays Addition Boat Ramp (Lakeshore Drive):

• Improvements to dock and water access;

• Additions to boat trailer parking and expanded access.

Main Street

• New Third Street downtown restroom facility

Since the phase 1A design in February, city staff has tweaked projects and moved them to other future phases.

“The roundabout and section of Yett Street will be constructed in a later phase,” Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss said. “The funding is being used for the section of Buena Vista (utilities and infrastructure upgrades) that was moved from Phase 1B to Phase 1A.

“A new sewer line was installed down Buena Vista prior to the flood. There will be additional utility work along Buena Vista to include underground electric service and communications, water, gas and recycled water for irrigation,” Moss added. “In addition, there will be parking and sidewalks added.”

Officials also emphasized improvements in flood prone areas.

“The retaining wall will give the bank a clean finished appearance; as well as stabilize the bank and mitigate potential erosion in the future. Take for instance the retaining wall (in Lakeside Park),” Moss said. “This is all retaining wall that is either being updated or added to match the balance of the retaining wall along the shore of Lakeside Park.”

Despite some public criticism, city staff have defended the planned man-made beach on the Lake Marble Falls shoreline.

“It's going to provide the community with things to do, something to do with their leisure time,” Moss said. “When you're going to rebuild something, you have to consider future floods,” Moss said. “Anything you put there has to be engineered so that it stays there. That's not always 100 percent sure that's going to be the case, but you have to design for that.”

Deadline for sealed bids is 3 p.m., Nov. 27 at city hall, 800 Third St.

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