Posted on August 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Saturday, Aug 4 at 10:42 AM
AUSTIN -- The hike and bike trail is part of Lady Bird Lake's charm. For years, it didn't make a complete circle, but that will soon change.
Friday on Lady Bird Lake's south shore, people gathered at a ceremony launching the construction of a boardwalk that will complete the hike and bike trail. Construction of the boardwalk is expected to be complete in 18 months.
Susan Rankin is the executive director of the Trail Foundation, which is the group responsible for leading the effort to build the boardwalk. The Trail Foundation began working on this project in 2006, though the original idea spans more than two decades.
"I feel like it's really happening now, and now it's the job of the construction company to put it out there, and we'll all be enjoying it. I think in the end, people will look back and say, ‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?’” Rankin said.
The Trail Foundation raised $3 million to fund the boardwalk's construction, and this is in addition to a bond package approved by voters in 2010. A $21.7 million contract for construction of the boardwalk was recently approved by the Austin City Council.
"It’s gonna connect east and west…I-35 created a tremendous barrier between the two sides of the city, and since this bridges that gap, I think it's gonna help bring our community closer,” said Chair of the Campaign for the Trail Foundation Griffin Davis.
People who use the hike and bike trail are excited about the boardwalk project. "Oh, I think it's wicked awesome. I love it. I can't wait until it's done,” said Elizabeth Alexander.
Jacqueline Vidal agreed. "I think it's just one more thing that we get to be excited about here in Austin."
You could say once the boardwalk is complete, the hike and bike trail will have come full circle.