Building Bridges

New vision for portion of Lady Bird Lake unveiled by Austin's Trail Foundation

New vision for portion of Lady Bird Lake unveiled by Trail Foundation

Butler Trail at Congress Avenue Bridge rendering 2015 Lady Bird Lake
The Trail Foundation has unveiled a project to revamp a section of Lady Bird Lake's hike-and-bike trail. Rendering courtesy of The Trail Foundation

Just one year after completing the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk, The Trail Foundation has its eyes on another slice of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail that's in need of some love. The nonprofit has unveiled a $2.5 million project to revamp a rundown section of the trail at the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge.

The plan is to replace the old wooden bridge on the northern side of the lake that currently connects the east and west sides of Butler Trail under the Congress Avenue Bridge. The new, 14-foot-wide bridge will be sleek in design and provide much-needed safety improvements to the area. The update also includes a viewing platform that will serve as a convenient spot for seeing the bat colony.

Funding for the project is expected to come from private donations. The Trail Foundation announced that Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners has offered a one-to-one match of up to $1.25 million, bringing the total budget to $2.5 million.

"An investment in the trail is an investment in Austin's future — one that will keep our community's most cherished outdoor asset safe, accessible, and enjoyable for many years to come," said Smith in a statement.

Consulting firm Freese and Nichols is working through the final design and permitting phase. The Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue is slated for completion in 2017.