Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue

Congress Ped Bridge Existing

Before / Previous Conditions

The Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue was completed in May 2018.

The Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue updated a decades-old bridge and brought a much-needed safety enhancement to the area while adding a new space to take in the view of Lady Bird Lake. The outdated wooden bridge linked the Trail east and west of Congress Avenue under the Ann Richards Bridge. This link took place around a blind, narrow passageway that posed a safety threat for Trail runners and cyclists rounding the corner at speed.

The new bridge has enhanced pedestrian and bicyclist safety; made the area ADA-accessible; increased the width of the Trail to 14 feet; greatly improved the area’s visual appeal; provided connectivity with the Waller Creek area; created a beautiful site from which to view the Congress Avenue bats; and lowered the city’s maintenance costs.

An overlook on the bridge’s east side gives Trail users and bat watchers a safe place to pull off the Trail, take in the views, and connect with Austin. The design also considered the natural function of the site area and sought to mitigate the impact of its construction here. The new bridge is a 14-foot wide overwater steel and concrete structure along the north shore of Lady Bird Lake that was designed and constructed better to serve the area’s growing pedestrian and bicycle use.

Freese & Nichols completed the assessment, final design, and permitting. The bridge was constructed by Jay-Reese Contractors.

To view photos of the new Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue project, click here.


2019- ENR Texas & Louisiana- Award of Merit

Thank you to the Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue donors:

Unique to this project was a 1:1 match up to $1.25 million, generously donated by Robert F. Smith, founder of Austin-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners.  “Thousands of us lucky to call Austin home, and the many visitors to this city, use the Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake every day. An investment in the Trail is an investment in Austin’s future—one that will keep our community’s most cherished outdoor asset safe, accessible, and enjoyable for many years to come,” lead donor Robert Smith said.

Robert F. Smith
Austin Parks Foundation
The James M. Cox Foundation
Jay-Reese Contractors, Inc.
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
René & Ron Albee, Anonymous, Aragona Family Foundation, Austin Runners Club, Tausha & Chris Carlson, Congress Avenue Kayaks, The Corbett Family Charitable Foundation, Downtown Austin Alliance, ECG Foundation and Mary & Howard Yancy, Claudette Hartman, HomeAway, Luci Baines Johnson & Ian Turpin, Jonna and Jill Foundation, Heather Keating & Griffin Davis, Louis Kokernak, LBJ Family Foundation, LINE Hotel, Sheridan & Perry Lorenz, MFI Foundation, Ellen & Steven Miura, Nona Niland, Outdoor Voices, The Stahl Family Foundation, Team TTF 2016-2017, Texas Gas Services, Texas Realty Capital, Friends and Family of Warren Walters, Bill Wood