North Acres Trail bridge construction approved by Austin City Council

On May 23, Austin City Council approved the construction contract for a bridge between the Heritage Hills and Windsor Hills neighborhoods, despite the concern of many people residing in that area. The total contract amount cannot exceed $751,673.93.

Councilman Chris Riley said the project has been in the works for a long time, and he is looking forward to the positive effect the bridge would have on foot and bike traffic.

"My hope is that it remains an area of town where people can continue to enjoy their homes, and in particular I hope that people will have even more opportunities in the future to enjoy the neighborhood on foot and on bike," Riley said. "And that means not just folks on the south side of the creek, but folks on the north side of the creek, who, with the construction of this bridge, will have a very safe and convenient opportunity to come down and enjoy that park, to access the school and really to come all the way down to the central part of Austin."

Some concerns raised by the public include crime in the area north of the creek and a potential loss of bus service for students going to Hart Elementary School—the bridge would provide a walking route for students—as well as the dimensions of the bridge.

Al Morgan, president of the Heritage Hills–Woodbridge Hills Neighborhood Association, said the North Acres Neighborhood Park is small—2.45 acres—and the bridge would dominate the area, ruining the natural feel the park.

"The unattractive bridge and trail are all that visitors to the creek and park will see," Morgan said. "I would walk an extra mile to save this park as is."

About 450 linear feet of 10-foot wide trail is expected to be built along with a 180-foot bridge that would span Little Walnut Creek. The bridge would connect Furness and Park Plaza drives.

According to Austin Police Department officials, crimes, in the area north of the creek, including homicide, robbery, theft and burglary, have increased by less than 1 percent from 2009–11, but streets that would directly connect to the northern portion of the proposed bridge have seen about a 12 percent decrease in those same crimes during that same time period.

Howard Lazarus, director of Austin's Public Works Department, said he has received a letter from AISD supporting construction of the bridge and said AISD has not yet made a decision on whether to terminate bus service.


Fitness studio Body20 is coming soon to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New fitness studio, candy pop-up shop coming to Hill Country Galleria

A new candy pop-up shop and fitness studio are coming to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria.

Photo of Austin Community College pharmacy students preparing vaccines
Austin Public Health ramps up COVID-19 booster shot offerings, prepares for pediatric vaccines

High-risk individuals who received Pfizer are Moderna doses six months ago or more are now eligible for boosters—as are most recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

Rendering of the UT Leona Child Development Center
UT Austin set to open new Child Development Center east of I-35

A new university child care facility is headed to 2216 Leona St.

Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey briefed City Council on Austin's spending of more than $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding on homelessness Oct. 21. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials share outlook of 3-year plan to house 3,000 homeless people in Austin

Although the path to build more than 1,000 new spaces for those without shelter will take time, officials believe the goals are achievable.

Photo off APD sign
Austin police cadet academy review notes positive strides but says instructors lack buy-in to 'reimagined' concept

Reforms at the Austin Police Department academy are mixed so far, while the department and outside evaluators agree on several potential improvements going forward.

Franklin Barbecue in East Austin closed its dining room in March 2020. (Courtesy Franklin Barbecue)
Franklin Barbecue to reopen dining room on 11th Street in Austin

The dining room will reopen just before Thanksgiving.

Cumby Group is planning development for three adjacent multifamily projects on Manor Road in East Austin, including The Emma apartments. (Courtesy Cumby Group)
3 years in, Austin is falling behind on goals in affordable housing plan

From 2018-20, the city only reached 12% of its 10-year goal to build thousands of new homes and rental units.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

The Austin Transit Partnership is exploring above- and below-ground options for a transit center at the East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley intersection. (Courtesy Austin Transit Partnership)
Project Connect plans to explore above-, below-ground options for East Riverside/Pleasant Valley Transit Center

After hosting a community design workshop, the group overseeing Project Connect designs is moving forward with options for both an underground and above-ground station at the intersection.

A calculator created by the Rocky Mountain Institute looks at the environmental impact of TxDOT's proposed designs for I-35 in Central Austin, one of the most congested roadways in the country. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit's tool says TxDOT I-35 expansion proposals would have profound environmental consequences

The tool says that the proposal would create between 255 and 382 million additional vehicle miles traveled per year.