'Obsolete' Barton Springs Road bridge gets engineering funding boost

The Barton Springs Road Bridge is set to receive needed upgrades.

The Barton Springs Road Bridge is set to receive needed upgrades.

The main bridge to Zilker Park needs to be repaired or replaced, and the Austin City Council is dedicating more funds to the project.

The Barton Springs Road Bridge, which traverses Barton Creek, will receive $692,387 additional dollars for engineering after City Council voted Thursday to increase the project budget. The contract amount now totals $1.05 million.

The additional funding will support the second phase of the engineering for the project—which will look at the load capacity of the bridge, assess roadway needs and options for repairing or replacing the bridge in addition to the design of replacement concepts.

Findings from Phase 1 determined the overall bridge was in fair condition, but the deck and supporting columns were deteriorating. Because of that, preserving the existing structure is not a viable option, according to City Council documents.

A third engineering phase may require further authorization from council and will entail the full vetting of repair and replacement options.

Council Member Ann Kitchen, who serves District 5, requested staff return with a briefing on how the improved bridge structure would affect Zilker Park. Kitchen said she did not want the city to increase the size of the bridge if it brings more traffic to the park.
By JJ Velasquez
The Central Austin editor since 2016, JJ covers city government and other topics of community interest—when he's not editing the work of his prolific writers. He began his tenure at Community Impact Newspaper as the reporter for its San Marcos | Buda | Kyle edition covering local government and public education. The Laredo, Texas native is also a web developer whose mission is to make the internet a friendly place for finding objective and engaging news content.


MOST RECENT

Austin Public Health will resume providing coronavirus testing for individuals without symptoms. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Asymptomatic coronavirus tests now available through Austin Public Health

Despite relative progress in county efforts to contain the virus, Dr. Mark Escott has urged the community to stay vigilant in social distancing and wearing masks.

Houston-based vintage clothing store Pavement will open in Austin on Aug. 14. (Courtesy Pavement)
South Austin news: Pavement opens new vintage store, YMCA offering child care and more

YMCA of Austin and Extend-A-Care will be offering full-day child care to supervise virtual learning at 10 locations, including Galindo Elementary School.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler (Courtesy ATXN)
Austin mayor pushes for new ideas in policing, $100M cut to police budget during State of the City address

Austin Mayor Steve Adler also said the city needs a police chief who will champion change.

A teal coronavirus graphic
Travis County adds 202 new coronavirus cases Aug. 5

The county has confirmed 22,024 cases of the virus, with an estimated 20,059 recoveries.

Wonderspaces Austin
Interactive art gallery Wonderspaces opens in Austin and 3 other events to check out

Here is a list of events to safely check out in the coming weeks in and around Austin.

A camp is set up by someone experiencing homelessness in August 2019. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Petition to reinstate Austin's homeless camping ban ruled invalid by city clerk

The group behind the petition said "this fight is not over."

The Confederate Soldiers Monument stands on the south grounds of the Texas Capitol. A group of Democratic lawmakers have called for its removal, along with other statues and portraits honoring the Confederacy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
State legislators seek removal of Confederate monuments at Texas Capitol

The decision may ultimately lie with Gov. Greg Abbott and the rest of the State Preservation Board, which last year authorized the removal of a plaque in the Capitol that said slavery was not an underlying cause of the Confederate rebellion.

Austin City Hall was one of several downtown buildings to get vandalized during June's protests against police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Latest Austin police budget proposal seeks compromise, longer-term commitment to transformational change

The effort to make significant changes to the Austin Police Department has been met with clashing interests.

A green virus graphic
Travis County health authority tells residents to 'stay the course' as cases plateau

Austin Public Health reported 273 new cases Aug. 5, higher than the seven-day moving average of 218 daily confirmed COVID-19 cases. APH also confirmed 41 new hospital admissions of coronavirus.