I’ve lived off and on South Congress since the late 90s. During that time, my primary transportation sources were either my feet or my bike. And even though I have a car now, my primary means of transportation is still my bike.
One of my main routes for East-West travel has always been the Lady Bird Lake (previously Town Lake) Trail. Not only is it a beautiful way to travel, but because there are no cars allowed, the 10-mile-hike-and-bike path is the safest and fastest route–except for a small 1.2-mile segment that runs along East Riverside from just east of South Congress to just east of I-35. For that stretch, a block of private development, I’d have to bicycle on Riverside, which is the opposite of safe.
When I first saw the design exploration renderings of the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk [links to PDF], I flipped. Finally a safe passageway to the East–and think about those views! Now everyone will be able see the sweeping skyline without having to kayak or paddleboard.
Thankfully in 2010 the voters approved a bond to partially fund the project, followed by City Council’s final approval in June 2012. Then, on August 3rd, 2012, construction on the boardwalk began.
And now…there’s some significant progress. Seeing these pics really gets me excited! It’s not just a dream or a rendering, it’s starting to take shape. In the pictures taken over the weekend, below, you can see the steel frames being set on the concrete piers. Pretty soon, they will be installing the concrete planks that create the actual walking-riding surface of the boardwalk.
If you are trying to track the progress on the city’s map of the boardwalk [links to PDF], this segment is the Waterfront Promenade, just east of I-35, hugging the length of the lakeshore just parallel to the Amli South Shore development. The full boardwalk is slated to be completed by Spring 2014. We can also expect completion of the Waller Creek Redevelopment around the same time.
Are you as excited as am?
Who will join me for an inaugural next spring?
All Photos Courtesy of The Trail Foundation