An urban trail nearly connecting MoPac to I-35 was completed by Austin Public Works in the beginning of February.

Known as the Northern Walnut Creek Trail extension, the 4.4-mile section of trail connects Balcones District Park west of MoPac to Oakbrook Drive west of I-35.

Project construction began in October 2021. The Northern Walnut Creek Trail section of the project cost $3 million total, with funding coming from the city’s 2016 Mobility Bond and the city’s parks and recreation department.

The Northern Walnut Creek Trail extension is part of a larger 19-mile urban trail connectivity project connecting neighborhoods and green spaces from Govalle Park in East Austin to Balcones District Park.

Unlike shared-use paths, urban trails are ideally constructed away from major roadways, said Cheyenne Dolin, public information specialist for Austin Public Works

For the 19-mile trail system to connect, there are still four pieces of the urban trail project underway. The next section of trail being completed is known as Section 3A, connecting the Copperfield Connector Trail to I-35 and Southern Walnut Creek Trail to shared use paths on Hwy. 290. Design for 3A will be completed in the summer, with construction beginning early next year, Dolin said.

Additional trails connecting the northern and southern pieces of Walnut Creek Trail are still in their design phase, and a timeline has not been set for these projects as of press time, Dolin said.

“We’re coordinating with [the Texas Department of Transportation], who is currently analyzing how they’re going to use the land,” Dolin said. “We can’t really decide much about the trials there until TxDOT also makes some decisions on that land.”

The Austin Public Works department will hold a celebration March 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park to commemorate the opening of the 4.4-mile Northern Walnut Creek Trail extension. The event will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music, a youth bicycle ride and a guided family nature walk.

More details on the urban trail project are available here, and upcoming event details can be found here.