Boardwalk project beginning to take shape
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First imagined more than twenty years ago, the missing link in Austin's downtown trail system is finally rising from the water.
The Lady Bird Lake boardwalk project completes the 10-mile long loop around the lake, linking the last mile along the south shore. Paid for by a public-private partnership, the Trail Foundation helped raise more than three million dollars for construction.
"It's important not only for transportation users but recreational users. There are 3,000 to 15,000 people that use the trail everyday of the year," Trail Foundation executive director Susan Rankin said. "The trail is one big reason why Austin is so friendly and healthy and natural and outdoorsy."
So far, construction crews have poured more than 100 concrete piers. The next step is the structural steel that will actually lay out the shape of the boardwalk.
"This is certainly one of the largest things that's happened to the Butler trail since the seventies when it first got started," project manager David Taylor said. "Once you starting putting that structural steel, you can kind of begin to see where the surface approximates itself as it goes across the water."
After the steel work is installed, the pace will quicken.
"Then you'll see some crews putting in concrete decks, and finally the electrical work and the handrail work will go up," Taylor said.
Supporters say it will be more than just a transportation connection.
"Not only that, it's going to be just beautiful,” Rankin said. “It's going to be a destination. It's going to be iconic for Austin."
The Lady Bird Lake boardwalk project is on schedule for completion about a year from now.
For more information on the boardwalk and other projects planned for the trails, visit TheTrailFoundation.org.