For more than 50 years, the historic Lamar Boulevard Bridge carried cars, runners, walkers, and bicyclists over the section of the Colorado River known as Lady Bird Johnson Lake (formerly Town Lake). But over the years, as the volume of cars increased on the narrow roadway, the bridge became treacherous for pedestrians and bicyclists. Following two fatal pedestrian/car accidents in the early 1990s, City of Austin officials resolved to improve the bridge crossing for all users.
It was not possible to make alterations and still preserve the bridge's historic character, so instead the city built another bridge adjacent to the existing structure. Partnerships and public involvement were crucial to the project -- engineers, architects, federal and state agencies, as well as Austin citizens contributed ideas to the bridge design.
TE funds awarded in 1994, along with local bonds, were used to construct the James D. Pfluger, FAIA, Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge, named after a distinguished Austin area architect. The 700-foot-long structure opened in June 2001. The bridge offers a safe transportation alternative for those traveling by foot, wheelchair, stroller or bicycle, and helps relieve traffic congestion. Benches along the bridge provide a community gathering place and allow users to sit and take in the breathtaking scenery of Austin's rolling hills. The bridge is now used by thousands of people every day.
Federal Award: $953,252; Local Match: $305,041; Total: $1,258,293
Photo by R.E. Martin