AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new project from Austin Public Works will revitalize pedestrian and bicycle paths along Barton Springs Road between Stratford Drive and MoPac Expressway.

Crews recently began construction along the 0.7-mile project stretch, designed to improve mobility and add transit access near Zilker Park, the Zilker Botanical Garden and the Austin Nature and Science Center, per the release. The project is being done in partnership with the Austin Parks and Recreation and Austin Transportation departments as well as CapMetro.

Specific improvements include:

  • Shared-use paths along Barton Springs Road, Stratford Drive
  • Landscaping buffer between the shared-use path and travel lanes along Barton Springs Road
  • Bus stop upgrades along both sides of Barton Springs Road (including concrete pads, benches)
  • Pedestrian hybrid beacon, crosswalk across Barton Springs Road near the Zilker Botanical Garden entrance

Funding for the project comes from Austin City Council Quarter Cent allocations, along with the 2016 and 2020 mobility bonds.

“This project is a great example of the importance of collaboration,” Austin Public Works Interim Director James Snow said in the release. “Our staff is always looking for ways to leverage and stretch the Mobility Bond dollars to go further. Our partners are helping us take this from a straightforward safety project to a beautiful, green community benefit.”

The project is divided into three phases.

Phase 1 improvements

Phase 1 will include construction of the shared-use path between MoPac Expressway and the Zilker Botanical Garden entrance on Barton Springs Road, as well as the landscaped buffer zone between the shared-use paths and the travel lanes.

It will also incorporate the upgrades to the MetroBus stops on both sides of Barton Springs Road near the gardens entrance. Those will feature new concrete pads and benches, an ADA-compliant connection to nearby sidewalks, as well as the pedestrian hybrid beacon and crosswalk covering Barton Springs Road near the gardens entrance.

Phase 2 improvements

Phase 2 of the project will include the construction of the shared-use path along Stratford Drive, between the Austin Nature & Science Center entrance, slightly north of Barton Springs Road.

Phase 3 improvements

Phase 3 will feature shared-use connections constructed between the Zilker Botanical Garden entrances and improvements made along Stratford Drive near the Austin Nature & Science Center entrance.

When will the project be complete?

Construction on the project is estimated to take between 12-18 months to complete, depending on weather, officials said. Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive will remain open to public access in both directions; however, drivers and pedestrians are advised to move through the area cautiously and watch for traffic signs and flaggers.