Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake to be complete by May 2014

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalists CHRISTIAN GARCIA, JOHN FISHER

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 6:40 PM

AUSTIN -- One year from now, The Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake is expected to be ready for runners. It will complete the ten-mile loop of trail around the lake, as well as connect portions of the existing trail with a safer route for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Construction has been underway since last fall on The Boardwalk Trail. Much of the work can't be seen from the shoreline. But if you've been out on Lady Bird Lake recently, you've seen concrete piers on the south side. They're drilled into the rock beneath the lake bottom. On top of that is galvanized structural frame, according to Project Manager David Taylor.

"We are about one-third of the way through construction," Taylor said.

He says the piers will soon have colored and textured concrete planks on top, which will be the actual surface people will run or walk on.

"We just approved the first of those for production this week. And by the end of the month we'll be seeing concrete planks laid out on that section east of I-35," he said.

Construction of the 1.1 mile boardwalk began last fall. About half will be over the water. It's expected to be complete by next May at a cost of $20.7 million, funded by the 2010 mobility bonds. The Trail Foundation gave three million.

Executive Director Susan Rankin says this trail will be an Austin icon.

"People will come here to experience this walking and running and biking over water," Rankin said.

This project closes the gap that exists from the east side of the Austin-American Statesman to International Shores Park.

The part-land, part-water portion will weave its way around certain trees and structures; designed, not just for recreation but as a transportation route to connect Southeast Austin to downtown.

The water portion will have handrails and LED lights and will be reminiscent of a boardwalk. However, the land portion will be made of decomposed granite and will be much like the current land trails Austinites are used to.

Click here to see a map of the project.

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