Lady Bird Lake boardwalk to debut June 7

Project connects 1.1-mile gap in Ann and Roy Butler hiking trail



An overwater trail connection more than seven years in the making is set to open to the public June 7.



The Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake, a 1.1-mile passage that connects the south portion of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, is nearly ready for public use. Project costs totaled $27.5 million, said David Taylor, project manager for the city of Austin.



The Trail Foundation contributed $3 million toward the project to help ensure it was complete in one phase, TTF Executive Director Susan Rankin said. Much of that money came from individual donors, she said, as well as a $500,000 gift from the St. David's Foundation.



"This project is really a great example of how private organizations and private donors can be so essential to putting on the ground an important public space," Rankin said.



Much of the city's contribution came from a voter-approved 2010 mobility bond package. The project adds safety and connectivity, which previously prevented many south shore trail users from fully utilizing the hike and bike trail, she said.



"That's one big reason everybody supports this project," Rankin said.



The boardwalk's debut will include children's activities, live music and remarks from public officials. Blue Lapis Light, a site-specific aerial dance company, will perform under I-35.



"The dance will symbolize the east-west connection that's been created and celebrate the lake," Rankin said, noting that Silicon Laboratories Inc. funded the performance.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.


MOST RECENT

Photo of the Sobering Center
Travis County moves forward with plans for mental health diversion program at Sobering Center

The program would divert people experiencing mental health crises away from jail and towards supportive services following low-level offenses.

Baylor Scott & White Pflugerville
Ascension, Baylor Scott & White to require all employees be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by fall

Ascension and Baylor Scott & White have announced all eligible employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming months. 

Photo of an egg dish
Kerbey Lane Cafe serves the Austin community with 'family feeling'

Since 1980, the cafe has served up breakfast, lunch and dinner at locations around the Capital City.

Austin City Council will convene for a regular meeting July 29, its first since mid-June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council to look at downtown safety, homelessness and budgeting in return from meetings break

The first regular council meeting since mid-June features a packed agenda and opportunity for resident feedback on Austin's proposed budget.

Photo of a hand holding a vaccine vial
As COVID-19 hospitalizations track upward, Austin Public Health renews call for vaccinations

APH also mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for vaccinated individuals to wear masks in some circumstances.

The request to table talks regarding designated campsites came one week after city staff detailed two properties that could be used for such an initiative. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ellis, Harper-Madison call for halt to Austin's 'Band-Aid' sanctioned homeless encampment plans

The East and Southwest Austin representatives shared their thoughts on the process one week after city properties in their districts were tapped as workable encampment sites.

Photo of a woman holding a Pride flag
Austin July and August events: Bat Fest, monster trucks and Pride

A variety of in-person and virtual events are happening around Austin this summer.

Photo of a home with a "just listed" sign in the front yard
A seller’s market in Central Austin drives challenging landscape for buyers

Local experts say a "perfect storm" of construction obstacles continue to restrict home supply.

The CDC reversed its masking guidance for fully vaccinated individuals in response to the transmissibility of the delta variant of COVID-19 in a press conference July 27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
NEW CDC GUIDANCE: All individuals should wear masks in K-12 schools, including those who are fully vaccinated

The new CDC guidance, announced July 27, also recommends people in areas with "high" or "substantial" levels of transmission wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Several downtown office towers saw thousands of square feet of space available for sublease early this year. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)aa
Downtown Austin office subleasing positioned to cool off amid return to in-person work

Sublease availability in downtown Austin more than tripled from early 2019 into 2021, although the market may be shifting away from that trend as offices are reoccupied this year.

The monthslong search for Austin's new police chief is expected to wrap up before the end of August. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Search for Austin's next top cop narrows to 7 finalists; new chief to be named by end of August

Seven finalists from across the country remain in the search for Austin's next police chief, the city announced July 26.

Austin ISD will offer virtual learning options to students in kindergarten through sixth grade for the 2021-22 school year, according to a July 26 news release from the district. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Austin ISD plans to offer virtual learning for some students in 2021-22 school year

The district changed course on virtual learning after rising case counts led the local health authority to revert to Stage 4 guidelines, including wearing masks.