Following Nov. 1 action by Lakeway City Council, the city will provide an improved Hurst Creek crossing, which, according to city staff, improves on the current structure. That structure is not a bridge but a wastewater utility line encased in concrete.

In a 6-1 vote, council directed staff to build a 30-foot creek crossing “adjacent to and downstream of” the current utility line along with a foot trail leading through the Hurst Creek Sculpture Garden on Lohmans Crossing Road, according to a city staff presentation. The project is estimated to cost $150,142.

“It’s unsafe, and it’s not meant to be a bridge,” Lakeway Parks Director Andra Bennett said during remarks to council members.

Council Member Gretchen Vance said she agreed the crossing poses a safety risk.

“I’ve walked that footbridge before, five out of five, I do not recommend crossing that bridge,” Vance said.

The staff proposal approved by council calls for the addition of a foot trail to meet up with the new bridge. The trail and bridge would allow visitors access to the Hamilton Greenbelt and use of parking spaces at the city’s justice center on Cross Creek when parking is limited at the greenbelt, Bennett said.

“We want to provide a safe option, and we wanted to allow overflow parking in the justice department, but we need a safe route there,” Bennett said.

The bridge itself is estimated to cost $25,000, and $25,000 in landscaping and irrigation also is included in the estimated project cost. Other items in the proposed improvement budget include $6,000 for a concrete abutment and $20,000 for designing and bidding. The project will take place in 2022, according to city documents.

Lakeway Mayor Pro Tem Louis Mastrangelo said he voted against the project not because he is against upgrading the creek crossing but because he would have liked to have seen the cost of the bridge broken out separate from the walking trail.

The city of Lakeway’s current budget has line items for upgrading the Hurst Creek crossing and sidewalk that total $500,000.