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Construction begins on improving access to Zilker Park

The project is striving to create comfortable and easy access to Zilker Park, the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Austin Nature and Science Center.

AUSTIN, Texas — Construction has begun on creating a comfortable way for pedestrians, bikers and runners to access Zilker Park.

Austin Public Works (APW) began construction to improve a 0.7-mile section of Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive. The project, called the Zilker Park Multimodal Access Improvements, is striving to create comfortable and easy access to Zilker Park, the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Austin Nature and Science Center. 

The project will include the following:

  • Shared use paths along Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive
  • A landscaped buffer between the path and vehicular travel lanes along Barton Springs Road
  • Improvements to bus stops on both sides of Barton Springs Road
    • These will include concrete pads and benches
  • A pedestrian hybrid beacon-crosswalk across Barton Springs Road, near the Zilker Botanical Garden entrance
Credit: Austin Public Works

“I am so excited to put my district's Quarter Cent funding to work in this way,” said Paige Ellis, mayor pro tem and Austin City Council member for District 8. “Giving our residents more options for getting around safely is a top priority for my office. Improving this stretch of Barton Springs Road will make a huge difference in unlocking access to Zilker Park for families, people with disabilities and transit riders in South Austin and beyond.”

The project is funded through Quarter Center funding, which is allocated by the Austin City Council and the 2016 and 2020 mobility bonds. APW's Sidewalk Program is managing construction alongside the Austin Transportation Department, Capital Metro, Austin Parks and Recreation and the Zilker Botanical Garden.

“This project is a great example of the importance of collaboration,” said James Snow, APW's interim director. “Our staff is always looking for ways to leverage and stretch the Mobility Bond dollars to go further. Our partners are helping us take this from a straightforward safety project to a beautiful, green community benefit.”

Construction is expected to take between 12 to 18 months to complete and is projected to be finished by 2024. Construction will have three phases, and both Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive will remain accessible during all three phases.

Drivers and park visitors are advised to proceed with caution when moving through the area. 

Boomtown is KVUE's series covering the explosive growth in Central Texas. For more Boomtown stories, head to KVUE.com/Boomtown.

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