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New downtown bridge to be called ‘Butterfly Bridge'

A new bridge under construction is changing the landscape in Downtown Austin, and the first of two arches was installed Wednesday morning on the Second Street Bridge that crosses Shoal Creek.

AUSTIN -- A new bridge under construction is changing the landscape in Downtown Austin. The first of two arches was installed Wednesday morning on the Second Street Bridge that crosses Shoal Creek -- literally bridging the gap between projects in the area like the Seaholm Power Plant and the new public library.

The project began in 2006, but this week is the first time you can see in person what it will look like when it's done.

The arches will be canted so they're considered more like wings. The project manager from the city said it will now be referred to as the "Butterfly Bridge."

"Our arches, instead of being vertical, are canted like a butterfly," said Cynthia Jordan. "It is such a lovely arch and it's a beautiful yellow. We're just really excited and I think people are really going to notice."

It's a $28 million dollar project, including the street work connecting the east and west sides of Shoal Creek and the work to the trails underneath the bridge.

It's a clear span bridge, meaning there are no permanent supports in the water. The city picked the design because it is specifically built to withstand the floodwaters in Shoal Creek.

The city has renderings to show how the bridge will look when both arches are installed. When it's done, Jordan hopes the bridge will be a benchmark in a burgeoning development.

"This is the destination in the West Side, and we're pleased to be able to do this," Jordan said.

She also said the second wing of the bridge will be installed next week. Construction on the two-lane bridge will likely be finished by summer 2016 and could open in the fall when the library is done.

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