AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin City Council will approve a construction contract on the controversial Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk at the final Council meeting this month, clearing the way for construction to begin on the project.
The 1.2 mile boardwalk, which was expected to cost approximately $17 million, was one of the costliest and most controversial projects in the 2006 bond issue. Earlier this year, bids on the boardwalk project came in at around $20 million, about $3 million over budget.
The boardwalk will complete the 10.2-mile hike-and-bike loop around Lady Bird Lake. About half the project will be over the water. Nine rest stops and a restroom will be included. Connections also will be provided from at least two apartment projects on the water through cooperative agreements.
The project is now moving again. The additional funding will come from excess funding from other mobility bond projects, Project Manager David Taylor told the Waterfront Overlay Advisory Board on Monday night.
The Trail Foundation provided $3 million in funding, a figure that was incorporated into the original budget, Taylor said. Part of the boardwalk's estimated cost included the site of the Joe's Crab Shack restaurant, land where the contractor will be staged to begin construction on the project.
The Waterfront Planning Advisory Board voted to move the project forward to the Planning Commission, although Chair Brooke Bailey voiced concerns about the project.
"I think we are losing huge opportunities for negotiations with property owners in the area," Bailey said. "I just needed to voice my concerns about the design."
Last week, the waterfront board finished a planning session with a national design team for the area around the boardwalk. The Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk would be one component of the plan for the South Shore Central Area around the Austin American Statesman and Hyatt Regency.
Bids on the boardwalk project will be reviewed at the Council meeting on June 28. The expectation is that construction will start on the west end of the project, although it will be at the discretion of the contractor, Taylor said. Construction on the project should take about 18 months, which means the project will open in early 2014.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.