DALLAS — Austin is refunding the first debt it issued for an ambitious flood-protection project that is finally underway along downtown’s Waller Creek, after decades of planning.

At a projected cost of $146.7 million, the city is building a tunnel more than a mile long that will divert floodwater to Lady Bird Lake on the Colorado River. The underground system is similar to one that protects San Antonio’s River Walk during heavy rains.

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