AUSTIN -- Major changes could be coming to one of Austin's popular hike-and-bike trails.
Both the City of Austin and the Shoal Creek Conservancy are planning to expand the Shoal Creek Trail, from 3.9 miles to 13 miles long.
The conservancy is a non-profit that oversees Shoal Creek. The trail extends from Lady Bird Lake to 38th Street.
Shoal Creek Conservancy released a draft plan of projects on June 29 to extend the trail.
“As a trail user myself and as somebody who grew up in Austin, just to see a plan for expanding that network is really exciting,” said Shoal Creek Conservancy Director Joanna Wolaver.
The group is proposing phases or segments of expansion. One segment would extend the trail from 38th Street to Highway 183 and MoPac. The trail would run along alongside Shoal Creek Boulevard as a two-way bike lane and with a wider sidewalk. Then, there would be another segment with a two-way protected bikeway from U.S. Highway 183 to the Walnut Creek Trail in North Austin near Metric Blvd.
Elizabeth Tinoco spends time with her son in this area and said she would like to see the trails expand.
"That is why people come out here a lot to exercise,” Tinoco said. “I think it would be a great idea."
Shoal Creek Conservancy said the extension is expected to connect to 30 miles of continuous trails in Austin.
"That connects to Shoal Creek trail, Walnut Creek rail, Boggy Creek trail and the East Link trail,” said Wolaver.
In total, the expansion projects are expected to cost $66 million. According to the conservancy, most of the projects will be privately funded.
Shoal Creek Conservancy said if the city council approves its plans, Austinites could start seeing improvements within the next two years. The conservancy said all the projects are estimated to be finished in 10 years.
The conservancy is asking for public input until July 31 on www.shoalcreekconservancy.org/trailplan.