Barton Springs Pool to close ahead of tunnel repairs
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
In three weeks, the iconic Barton Springs Pool will close until March while repairs are made on a drainage pipe on the north side of the pool.
For Austinites like Karen Kreps, the historic springs are therapeutic.
"I've come almost every single day for the last 15 years and I don't know what I'm going to do when they close the pool," she said. "Being here keeps body and soul together."
Johnnie Price, an engineer with Austin Watershed Protection, has been planning the construction for four years. He’s seen the holes in the draining culvert get bigger and bigger.
Price said the $2.9 million construction project needs to happen now.
"If we had a major failure, all the water would drain at once; we would have to close the pool, and probably have to do more extensive repair,” he said. “We'd probably have to replace the entire thing."
While engineers are worried about the hidden cracks and leaks in the pipe, pool regulars are worried about what they feel might be the hidden cracks and leaks in the construction plan.
"Construction projects always take unexpected turns and cost more than its planned and usually take longer," Kreps said.
One of the biggest reasons for completely closing the pool outside of safety is to protect the Barton Springs salamander.
The parks department says they are on schedule and hope to be open before spring break.