Downtown Austin’s pride and joy, the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail system is set to receive many upgrades and extensions in the coming years. As growth in the Austin-area has fueled developments from downtown high rise condominium projects to gentrification of areas such as East and South Austin, one thing has remained constant, the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike trail. A handful of projects could change the way Lady Bird Lake looks and the way Austinites interact with it. Here’s the Austin Post overview:
2nd Street Bridge
As part of the extensive development of the Seaholm District (read about how this area will be much more than a Trader Joe’s when completed here), preliminary design of the 2nd Street Bridge over Shoal Creek began this summer. The bridge will extend 2nd Street to West Avenue and will connect the Green Water and Seaholm developments. This will be a particularly nice addition to the area when the Seaholm redevelopment and the new central library are completed because 2nd Street will be redesigned as a promenade of sorts, focused on pedestrian use. The project is expected to be completed in May 2016.
The Red Bud Trail Bridge
If you’ve ever driven over the small, narrow, about-to-collapse-any-day-now bridge that connects West Lake Hills to Austin, you know it’s badly in need of replacement. The Statesman reported back in 2012 that a whopping 12,000 vehicles a day were driving over this bridge, which has no sidewalks or bike lanes, despite the fact that it’s used regularly by cyclists. The project is funded only for the design stage so far, which is expected to take place between 2014 and 2016.
Barton Springs Road Bridge over Barton Creek
Another project so far only funded for design, also expected to take place between 2014 and 2016, is a new Barton Springs Road Bridge over the creek. The current bridge would be demolished, and a new one built in its place that would realign the now-constantly-congested traffic lanes at the intersection of Barton Springs Road and Robert E. Lee Road, as well as rebuild the retaining wall, stabilize the slope into the creek and include pedestrian and cyclists features that will integrate into existing Zilker Park and Barton Creek amenities.
MoPac Bicycle Bridge over Barton Creek
A partner project between the City of Austin and the State of Texas will create the MoPac Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge, which will include the bicycle bridge over Barton Creek at MoPac. The bicycle bridge is the first of three phases of the project and will include improved bike and pedestrian connections to Southwest Parkway, Loop 360 and the Violet Crown Trail and the Oak Hills Neighborhood Trail System. This first phase also includes plans to restripe the southbound lanes of MoPac at the bridge over Barton Creek to help with congestion. This first phase is expected to be completed the summer of 2015. Phase 2 will include a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Loop 360 at MoPac, and Phase 3 is a bike and pedestrian trail that would run on the west side of MoPac from Loop 360 to Tamarron Boulevard. Phase 1 and 2 are complete funded, but Phase 3 is not.
Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk Trail
One of the most visible projects affecting Town Lake is the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk Trail, which is well on its way. The boardwalk trail, which is scheduled to be completed this spring, will complete the 10-mile trail around the lake, closing the 1.1-mile gap between the Statesman building and Lakeshore Park. Read our full story on that project here.
Information Courtesy of: Austin Post
By: Stephanie Myers
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