BREAKING NEWS: Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Over Shoal Creek Announced

Austin City Council Member Sheri Gallo and Community Stakeholders Win New Multi-Modal Connection

Plans for a new 250-300-ft. long pedestrian, cycling and running bridge will be added to the Master Plan for The Grove at Shoal Creek.

(You can download the image below by clicking on it.)

Under the updated Master Plan, and in the event the Grove project gets approved as contemplated, The Grove has agreed to fund the construction of a new bridge that will span 250-300 feet across Shoal Creek and extend a multi-purpose trail east to Shoal Creek Boulevard. The future bridge will create a new, more convenient and safer connection for pedestrians, cyclists and runners.

The Grove at Shoal Creek, which is located in District 10, is now adding plans for the bridge after being asked by Sheri Gallo, the Austin City Council Member for District 10, to take a closer look at the feasibility of such a bridge and to add a superior benefit to the Austin community.

“I have heard from the surrounding neighborhoods a desire for a pedestrian bridge and connection over Shoal Creek, and since last fall my office has been working with the design team from The Grove at Shoal Creek to encourage them to help make this happen. I am thrilled that The Grove at Shoal Creek has listened to the input from the community and has agreed to help fund a pedestrian bridge to provide connectivity across Shoal Creek. This is a major step in creating a safe connection and passage across Shoal Creek for pedestrians and bicyclists in the area. Now I look forward to continuing my work with City Staff, Senator Kirk Watson, Texas Facilities Commission, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Shoal Creek Conservancy, surrounding neighborhoods and other stakeholders to ensure that the City of Austin is able to acquire the necessary public easement across the State owned property to allow this pedestrian and bicyclist bridge to become a reality,” said Austin City Council Member Sheri Gallo.

Friends of The Grove, a grassroots group organized to amplify voices in support of positive, community-minded urban development at The Grove, also led the call for a pedestrian bridge.

In August 2015, Friends of The Grove helped organize a public meeting for cyclists and active transportation advocates to gather ideas about how to make The Grove the most bike-friendly community in Austin. Participants got a chance to help design safer and more robust accommodations for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users in and around The Grove. Participants’ ideas included a new bridge over Shoal Creek.

“Friends of The Grove hoped The Grove would bring benefits to our area beyond the on-site shops, restaurants and parkland. This bridge has been one of the top requests by those of us wanting better connectivity for bikes and pedestrians. It's wonderful to hear that Council Member Gallo and ARG have responded to the community by advancing this important goal," said Natalie Gauldin, co-chair of Friends of The Grove (www.fotgatx.com).

In 2015, the Bull Creek Road Coalition (BCRC) also suggested the addition of a pedestrian bridge for The Grove.

Pedestrian safety and multi-modal mobility is at the forefront of community concerns regarding The Grove. In November 2015, The Grove released a Multi-Modal Plan, which details the unique opportunity presented by The Grove to create an accessible community through the development and implementation of a robust pedestrian, bicycle and transit system in the heart of central Austin. However, the Multi-Modal Plan only included the promise of an easement to allow for a bridge to be constructed in the future by The City of Austin. With today’s announcement, The Grove will fund and build the bridge.

“Through positive feedback from the community and from Council Member Gallo, we heard the community express a strong desire for a pedestrian bridge to reach the expansive public parks and open space planned within The Grove. A bridge is not a simple or inexpensive thing to build. But we challenged our engineers to find a way to make it work, and my partners and I look forward to adding this tremendous benefit to Austin,” said Garrett Martin, one of the owners of The Grove.

Below is the updated Master Plan with the inclusion of the Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge over Shoal Creek. As you can see, the bridge connects with the "Green Gateway" for walkers, runners, and cyclists, which extends from the 45th Street and Bull Creek Rd. intersection all the way to the Signature Park.

(You can download the image below by clicking on it.)