Marble Falls City Council voted to go ahead with plans to build a bridge over N Avenue in Backbone Creek at its regular meeting on 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 N Avenue low-flow crossing has raised concerns since its flooding in October 2018, leaving residents of Meadowlakes stranded between Backbone Creek and Lake Marble Falls. Since then, the city has continued to build a bridge at the site.

In January, the city received grants from FEMA to offset the estimated $ 3.5 million cost of the project. A $ 2.7 million Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will cover 75 percent of the project. Money will become available from the grant program as the city enters each phase of the project.

A grant from the Flood Infrastructure Fund awarded by the State Water Development Board will cover an additional $ 662,000. The city has also accepted a zero rate loan that will cover $ 233,000 of the project.

City engineer Kacey Paul noted that project cost estimates are based on 2019 concept designs, which could lead to cost fluctuations as construction progresses.

Because the N Avenue crossing serves as the main entrance to the town of Meadowlakes, Marble Falls hopes to split the remaining cost between the two towns through an interlocal agreement. The cities will meet on March 8 to discuss a deal.

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