A vision of how Austin’s Waller Creek might be redeveloped under a bond-funded project came into sharper focus last week as a design competition narrowed to four finalists.

The design teams submitted ideas for making 15 blocks along the creek more attractive to residents and visitors.

Waller Creek runs through the University of Texas campus and downtown Austin into Lady Bird Lake on the Colorado River.

The redesign of the creek banks is made possible by a flood control project now underway financed by $146.5 million of bonds.

The project is designed to send floodwaters to a tunnel under the creek and to Lady Bird Lake. Voters will also consider $13 million of bonds for the project as part of the city’s proposition on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The four finalists represent teams of local, regional and international firms.

They are CMG and Public Architecture; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Thomas Phifer & Partners; Turenscape and Lake/Flato Architects; and Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects and Rogers Marvel Architects.

The nonprofit Waller Creek Conservancy is directing the design competition. The winner will be named Oct. 18, the conservancy said.

The city plans to spend $60 million on landscaping and design of the creek. The flood control project will remove about 11% of downtown Austin from the creek’s flood zone, allowing private developers to submit their own projects.

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