Trail under First Street Bridge to be transformed with major project

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The underside of the Drake Bridge in downtown Austin is dark, with a wide swath of dirt on the trail between the concrete supports and the water and not much else. The Trail Foundation hopes to change that.

Most people will recognize the Drake Bridge as the one supporting cars headed across the river on South First Street. Underneath is a section of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail that people pass through. The Trail Foundation gathered feedback and will decide whether to transform that area into the “Drake dock” or the “Drake rock.”

“We want to inspire curiosity and play for all ages and all abilities,” said Beth Carroll, the project director for the Trail Foundation, who added the project is in the “visionary stage.”

The Drake dock plan would create a dry dock and a wet dock extending from the area, and expand wildlife habitat. Nearby would be an interactive playground and a bouldering wall.

The Drake rock plan would create a series of terraces connecting to the trail, with climbing rocks and play areas for children and an amphitheater.

On Aug. 17, the Trail Foundation will get feedback on the final design to the space, which will be funded through donations and events like The Margarita Run on June 6.

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