Marble Falls city staff, elected officials, and residents celebrated the completion of the Backbone Creek Bank Stabilization project during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Dec. 7, in Johnson Park, 230 Avenue J. The project, which spans eight sites along the creek, took a little more than a year to finish.
“I’m very thankful for the team that we had on this,” City Engineer Kacey Paul said during the event.
Marble Falls city staff began working on the bank stabilization project after the 2018 flood caused significant damage and erosion to creek banks and in Johnson Park. The project cost a total of $8 million with $4.69 million of the budget provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service through Emergency Watershed Protection Program grants.
Construction began in mid-2020. Throughout its duration, visitors to Johnson Park and Lakeside Park, 305 Buena Vista Drive, could view workers from Jay-Reese Contractors Inc. and city staff as they installed retaining walls made of limestone blocks and new irrigation equipment and removed tons of soil from project sites.
Now finished, the banks should withstand 100-year storms in Marble Falls as well as erosion caused by flooding in the Colorado River, Paul said. In addition to stabilizing the banks, the project added roughly 2 acres to the city’s parks system.
During the ribbon cutting, City Manager Mike Hodge thanked members of the City Council as well as previous members such as former Mayor John Packer for their assistance in ensuring the project’s completion.
“The support of the council in this overall project was tremendous,” Hodge said. “A project that was ultimately about a $5 million project grew to about $8 million because of all the extra things we ended up doing here so (improvements) could be aesthetically pleasing for those enjoying the park and then also for some of the additional venues that will be introduced.”