AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin Public Works held a community meeting Tuesday night to update the public about the future of the bridge over Barton Springs Road near Zilker Park.

In 2020, Austinites approved funding to evaluate the bridge so the city staff could begin working on plans to improve the existing structure. The approval came a couple of years after the structure was ranked among the top five bridges in Austin in the most need of rehabilitation.

According to Austin Public Works, the bridge ultimately needs to be fixed or replaced to ensure the safety of pedestrians and, of course, improve the flow of traffic over the bridge.

“I’m sure y’all have been down there on ACL weekend, and it’s a narrow point that is difficult for pedestrians and cars to interact,” Eric Bailey, Assistant Director for Austin Public Works, said in November.

There are a few options the city is considering, but all the plans fall under two categories: rehabilitate or complete replacement.

Though nothing is set in stone, the Public Works Office is recommending that the bridge is completely replaced. Bailey said in November this route maximizes views, enhances trails underneath the bridge and actually costs 40% less than the rehabilitation model.

Before construction can begin, KXAN reported in November that the department would present plans to the Texas Historical Commission in the Spring and brief the Austin City Council over the Summer. The preliminary phase of the planning process is expected to conclude in the Fall.

If you were unable to attend Tuesday night’s meeting, Austin Public Works said all open house materials will be available via a virtual public meeting on the project website until April 18, including an online comment form.

The project team wrote a memo providing an update to the City Council last fall as well as an update to the City Council Mobility Committee.