This past Thursday, the Austin City Council approved the construction of the $21 million dollar Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk.
The boardwalk is designed to bridge a 1.1 mile gap in the popular Hike and Bike trail. Currently, the southern half of the trail ends a quarter mile east of Congress Ave, forcing walkers and cyclists up onto narrow sidewalks along Riverside Dr. The trail begins again a half-mile east of I-35.
The boardwalk will be 14 feet wide and supported by concrete columns spaced 20 feet apart. The four sections that stretch across water will typically be 30 feet from the river bank and elevated six feet above the water level to allow kayaks and other small water craft to travel underneath.
$17.4 million of the project budget was approved by Austin voters in a 2010 bond election. Another $5.8 million is being reallocated from a city road improvement project and $3 million has been donated by the non-profit Trail Foundation.
During busy times, the Hike and Bike Trail has 15,000 users daily. It was originally conceived only for recreational purposes but has now become a major component of the Austin transportation grid. With more and more people biking and walking to work, providing safe spaces for non-motorized traffic is a growing concern for city planners.
Construction on the boardwalk should begin this August. The boardwalk is scheduled to be completed by February 2014.
At the Kyle Law Firm, we're delighted that the long-awaited boardwalk is finally getting underway. Investing in safe, urban transportation now is a great way to reduce the risk of life-threatening bicycle and pedestrian accidents in the future.
In 2011, over 20 pedestrians and one bicyclist were killed in accidents around the Austin area. Hundreds of others were seriously injured in collisions with negligent and irresponsible drivers.
If you've been injured in an accident on the Hike and Bike Trail or anywhere in Austin, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and lost working hours. Contact the Kyle Law Firm today to receive a free consultation and find out what you can do to protect your future.