Boardwalk set to open after 18 months of construction

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The new boardwalk on the Lady Bird Lake’s south side opens in just a few weeks.

Construction of the project has been ongoing for the past 18 months.

It’s a 1.2 mile extension of the Butler Hike and Bike Trail and will connect the Austin-American Statesman building to Lakeshore Boulevard. Half of the route will be on land and the other half will be over  water.

GOING IN-DEPTH // Boardwalk Project

The idea to build a boardwalk to complete the Hike and Bike trail loop came more than 20 years ago, but building over the water is expensive and it took a long time to come up with the money.

The plan kicked into high gear in 2010 when voters approved bonds for the project worth more than $14 million.

That didn’t cover all the costs so the nonprofit Trail Foundation raised an additional $3 million for the boardwalk and construction started in 2012.

City funds covered the rest of the cost.

A new bathroom, water fountains and a fishing pier have also been added. People living nearby are excited for the addition, but they do have some concerns such as parking, which is largely confined to the north side of the lake.

That’s what everybody needs,” said trail user Billy Moore, “access and parking to get to all the different place.”

The trail will also help cyclists avoid East Riverside Drive. Currently cyclists have to ride on the sidewalk or in very fast traffic.

The trail is expected to add to the already growing east side.

“(There is) a lot of development happening here on the east side of town and folks over here are excited to have an opportunity to use the Butler Trail,” said project manager David Taylor.

The grand opening for The Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake will be June 7.

Amanda will also help you navigate through your morning commute. Watch her First Warning Traffic reports each morning on KXAN News Today, starting at 4:30.

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