Flood-damaged bridges causing problems at Travis Heights Elementary

They connect Travis Heights Elementary to Big Stacy Park: 2 pedestrian bridges help parents get their students to school and help students get to their track and soccer field at the park.

The two bridges have been impassable since the Halloween Flood of 2015.

"Actually both hand railings were across the bridge itself and then one of them was actually in the creek itself.  It was just completely impossible to walk over," said Travis Heights PTA president Raymond Sinatra.

Aside from one of the handrails now leaning against the fence in the park, most of the debris and damaged railing sit seemingly untouched since raging water did the damage last October.

"Pretty soon after there were some City of Austin officials here looking at it and putting up tape and all that stuff," Sinatra said.

After that, Sinatra, who has a daughter in the third grade says he and other parents thought the bridges would get repaired fairly quickly so they didn't take action at the time.

But when kids went back to school after the Christmas break, the bridges were still in bad shape.

"What we've done is in early January a large number of us parents and actually administration as well, we submitted some service requests through 311 and the responses we've gotten back have been pretty inconsistent," Sinatra said.

He says not only can parents and students not use the bridges to get back and forth between the park and the school, it's a fire safety issue as well.

Sinatra says the bridges are part of the school's fire evacuation route.  Obviously they've had to change that up just a little bit.  Now in case of fire, Sinatra says students have to walk right next to the school which he says is less efficient and more dangerous.

Sinatra says he just wishes the City of Austin would at least respond to their cries for help.

"Information with a realistic timeline for when it's going to get done, right?" Sinatra said.

Both Parks and Rec and the Watershed Protection Department say they share responsibility for cleaning up the bridges.  A maintenance crew was scheduled to look at them this afternoon to determine a timeline and process for cleaning up the debris and repairing the railing.

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