AUSTIN (KXAN) — $27 million later, after months of planning and two years of construction, the final connecting stretch on the bike and hike trail along Lady Bird Lake is opening for business. Running and hiking business.
The 1.2 mile stretch is half pathways and half water boardwalks, running from the Statesman building to the west, to Lakeshore Boulevard on the east.
There are 5,000 apartment units going up along Lakeshore Boulevard and those folks already living there are delighted to have the final connection of the trail.
“Before, we had to ride across the bridge, then along a busy street,” explained Ryan Moncrief. “Now it’s a straight shot Downtown and really nice, and a lot safer.”
Another resident of the South Shore District Apartments, Nancy Cooper, adds, “We’ve been waiting for this a long time. This will be the perfect thing and we can go right across the street. I’ll use it every day.”
Not everyone is thrilled, though.
David Lundstedt, his wife and daughter own one of the 48 gated units of the Waterfront Condos. They go for a pretty penny but now they don’t offer the same privacy.
“We’re basically boxed in with the boardwalk,” said Lundstedt while shaking his head. “We’ve lost our privacy, we’ve lost our view, we’ve lost our unfettered access to the water.”
Asked if there is anything he can do, Lundstedt smiles ruefully, “I guess you can’t fight city hall.”
After the 10 a.m. Saturday ribbon cutting ceremony the trail will be open for all, but the LED lights that will shine on the boardwalk surface will still shut off at midnight each night because that is when the curfew kicks in.