The initiative, called the “Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy,” would revitalize the railroad trestle bridge, expand Margaret Moser Plaza into a stretch that prioritizes bike and pedestrian activities, and create a pathway under the Union Pacific rail line to connect 3rd Street to the Butler Hike & Bike Trail, according to a Shoal Creek Conservancy press release.
"We are excited to have a completed conceptual plan that represents the input of hundreds of stakeholders and proposes a Shoal Creek Trail that's safer, more accessible to the wider community and more connected to the creek," said Ivey Kaiser, Shoal Creek Conservancy Executive Director.
The project focuses on the area around 3rd Street and Shoal Creek and aims to create greener spaces in the downtown area, in addition to making the area safer, more accessible and better connected for the Austin community.
“Connecting the missing link of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway and rerouting the Shoal Creek Trail under the pedestrian bridge and trestle will allow for more streamlined routes for pedestrians and bikes, therefore minimizing pedestrian, bike and car conflicts,” Kaiser said.
Other elements of the designs include turning Power Plant Drive into a pedestrian plaza, restoring creekside habitat from the Austin Central Library to West Avenue and widening Shoal Creek Trail at Rio Grande Street, according to the project report.
Both the Lance Armstrong Bikeway and the Shoal Creek Trail run through the area, making it a central point for Austin’s trail network.
The project report details a $43 million cost, including $8.6 million for the 3rd Street to Butler Hike and Bike Trail underpass, and $9 million for the 3rd Street Bike-Pedestrian Bridge & Trestle. The timing for the proposed projects would extend 20-plus years, according to the report.
The Shoal Creek Conservancy will host a pop-up station to show final design renderings and discuss the proposals Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Margaret Moser Plaza, Kaiser said.