Austin begins work on second section of Northern Walnut Creek Trail

The second segment of the trail was split into two parts due to flood plain issues. The first part is expected to wrap up by the end of 2022.  (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)
The second segment of the trail was split into two parts due to flood plain issues. The first part is expected to wrap up by the end of 2022. (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)

The second segment of the trail was split into two parts due to flood plain issues. The first part is expected to wrap up by the end of 2022. (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)

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The second section of the Northern Walnut Creek Trail will run from Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to the Walnut Bluffs trailhead. (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)
The planned 19-mile trail that stretches from Govalle Neighborhood Park in East Austin to the Balcones District Park in North Austin will add another mile by the end of 2022, according to a press release from the Austin Public Works Department's Urban Trail Program.

The construction work will consist of the 1.3-mile stretch from Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to the Walnut Bluffs trailhead, which is east of North Lamar Boulevard.

“Starting in November, crews will begin installing tree protection near North Lamar Boulevard; conduct clearing, grubbing, and erosion control along the trail route; and place foundations for boardwalks and bridges,” Urban Trails Program Manager Katie Wettick said in an email.

The $6.4 million segment is Section 2A out of three sections along the Northern Walnut Creek Trail and will receive funding from the 2016 mobility bond and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. It will have 12-foot-wide paths and construct two bridges and four boardwalks.

The first section of the trail was completed in 2020. Community Impact Newspaper previously reported that the trail’s initial design was approved by Austin City Council in 2003 and experienced delays, including letting a contractor go before construction. The trail also initially had problems with trees dying, but those issues have since been resolved, Wettick said.


City officials decided to split the second section into two parts because of flood plain issues along the stretch from Cedarbrook Court to I-35, Wettick said. The flood plain issue delayed the entire second section's construction, which was originally anticipated to begin in fall 2020.

“In order to improve the east-to-west connection for those walking or biking across North Lamar as soon as possible, the Urban Trails Program decided to construct Section 2 in separate phases,” Wettick said.

Section 2B will push the trail farther east to I-35 and cost $2 million with funding from the 2016 mobility bond. The city is in the process of creating a preliminary engineering report for the section and expects to reach 30% design by fall 2022.

The last section of the Northern Walnut Creek Trail will extend 8 miles and link the trail with the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. The city plans to unveil designs for the third section in January and will likely take a phased approach to that stretch as well, Wettick said.
By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.



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