New Longhorn Dam Bridge

Austin Public Works has partnered with Austin Parks and Recreation and Austin Transportation to develop a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Lady Bird Lake, near Longhorn Dam. The “wishbone” shaped bridge will connect to the existing Butler Hike and Bike Trail at three points: Longhorn Shores, Holly Shores, and the unnamed peninsula near Holly Shores. When complete, the bridge will span just under a half-mile and create a north-to-south connection on the east side of Lady Bird Lake.
illustrated rendering of proposed bridge design

Project Background

In 2018, the City of Austin began work on a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) to evaluate options to create a safer way for people to walk and bike over Lady Bird Lake near Longhorn Dam. In addition to interim improvements to the existing bridge, Austin Transportation and Public Works Department shared five bridge alternatives that were developed from community input received in late 2018. Of the five bridge alternatives and the no-build option, Alternative B (the Wishbone-shaped bridge) received the most overall support. After conducting further technical analysis, the City moved forward with the Wishbone Bridge design.
Community feedback informs the design, which will feature a shaded plaza area, lighting, benches, and more. The total bridge length is approximately 0.43 of a mile with an average width of 30 feet. The project also includes a new trail underpass at Pleasant Valley Road. Learn about all planned design features in the Refined Guiding Principles of Bridge Design.
As part of the community conversation to develop a new bridge design, near-term improvements for the existing Longhorn Dam bridge were identified. A final set of interim improvements was shared in December 2019. Read more about the interim improvements on the Longhorn Dam Interim Improvements page.

Preliminary Engineering Recommendations

Final Preliminary Engineering Report, July 2020
This plan evaluates the feasibility of new multi-use pedestrian bridge alternatives spanning the Colorado River near the Longhorn Dam and associated trail connectivity improvements. Click on the links below to read the recommendations:

Funding

  • Preliminary Engineering Report: $600K from several City of Austin funding sources, including funds from the 2016 Bond Bikeway Program
  • Design and Construction: Estimated project cost is $15 M with funds from the 2020 Bond and additional City of Austin funding sources

Anticipated Timeline

  • PER/Planning: Completed July 2020
  • Design: Summer 2021 – Spring 2023
  • Construction:  Fall 2023 – Spring 2026

Project Process


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