City of Austin reveals wishbone design for new bridge over Longhorn Dam

The proposed bridge design is in a wishbone shape and includes a plaza space at the center. (Rendering courtesy city of Austin)
The proposed bridge design is in a wishbone shape and includes a plaza space at the center. (Rendering courtesy city of Austin)

The proposed bridge design is in a wishbone shape and includes a plaza space at the center. (Rendering courtesy city of Austin)

Image description
The city debuted the new design at an open house on Dec. 10. (Rendering courtesy city of Austin)
The city of Austin debuted a design proposal for a new bridge over the Longhorn Dam connecting the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at a Dec. 10 open house.

The recommended design is in a wishbone shape, with three prongs connecting to the shore, and also includes removing the existing pedestrian bridge and parking lot to increase the area for recreational use.

The Austin Public Works and Transportation departments began working on the project in 2018 with funding from the 2016 mobility bond.

This summer, city staff shared five possible designs that were developed based on community input and opened a survey to collect feedback.

Of the 1,794 people who responded, 41% said the wishbone shape was the top choice.


The center of the wishbone bridge will include a plaza space suspended above the water with a trellis to provide shade.

In addition to the new bridge, the final design also includes constructing a Pleasant Valley Road underpass to connect the hike and bike trail to the Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park Trail as well as on-street parallel parking and sidewalks along the south edge of Canterbury Street along Holly Shores.

Funding for the final design of this recommended bridge as well as interim improvements is available from several city sources, including the 2016 mobility bond.

The interim improvements include widening the sidewalks along North Pleasant Valley Road, filling in missing segments of the shared-use path on South Pleasant Valley Road and implementing a consistent speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

Funding for the construction of the wishbone bridge still needs to be identified.

According to a timeline presented Dec. 10, the city expects the earliest potential opening of the new bridge to be in 2025.
By Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.


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