This proposal highlights the potential benefits of creating a one mile long whitewater course and recreation corridor on Waller Creek, through the heart of Downtown Austin, Texas – part of the new Waterfront District. The Waller Creek Whitewater Trail would become another of Austin’s showcase attractions, used by a wide community of local residents, plus visitors from the surrounding areas and around the world.
The streambed wo uld be restored and re-created for safe river passage for rafts, kayaks, canoes and fish. Multi-use amenities of the corridor would include trails, shops, restaurants, and concessions with convenient yet safe access for enjoyment of the waterway. Combined with trails and energetic development the project would unite the surrounding neighborhoods to the creek, downtown, and Town Lake.
The Waller Creek Whitewater Trail is technically achievable and economically practical. It would make use of the forty feet of drop along the channel to produce Class II Whitewater. It leverages the Waller Creek Tunnel Projects’ plan to pump water from Town Lake up to Waterloo Park – to flow back downstream.
Capital costs to make (the few) necessary stream bed modifications might be found through simple redirection of existing repair budget forecasts.
Management operations and insurances for the course would be shared via a private / public partnership. The convenience of an urban location means that logistical facilities to support large promotional events are already in place. Austin’s mild climate would facilitate year round use.
Managed effectively, direct revenues generated from the course might both exceed operating expenses, and create generous profits both public and private.
This plan will succeed to create a vibrant renaissance along the entire Waller Creek corridor!