February 7, 2013

CapMetro starts urban trail construction project

In partnership with the City of Austin, and honoring Capital Metro’s commitment to a walkable, bicycle-friendly, connected region, the transit authority began construction on an urban trail connecting Crestview and Highland stations and continuing south to Denson St.

Smith Construction has broken ground on the .9-mile concrete path after being awarded a $787,386 construction contract by the Capital Metro board of directors in December. A federal American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grant is funding the construction of the trail.

The trail will feature a shaded, 10-foot wide concrete path designed for use by both bicyclists and pedestrians. The trail will be located within City of Austin right-of-way along Airport Blvd, adjacent to the MetroRail Red Line. Capital Metro anticipates completion of the trail this summer.

“Capital Metro is in the business of providing transportation choices,” said President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “This new trail segment will connect bicyclists and pedestrians to two rail stations and several bus routes, as well as the future ACC campus at Highland Mall and adjacent neighborhoods. Safe pedestrian and bicycle pathways are an important component of a comprehensive regional transportation network.”

Capital Metro and the City of Austin have worked together to bring this urban trail segment to fruition. The trail will replace the current sidewalk and will be shaded by 144 understory trees provided through the Austin Energy Heat Radiation Abatement Program. The trees will also provide a physical barrier between the trail and vehicular traffic on busy Airport Blvd.

The urban trail will also connect to the city’s existing on-street bicycle route network and additional bike amenities are on the way at Highland Station. A MetroBike Shelter, a secure bicycle parking facility, will be built at Highland Station next to the trail later in 2013.

Per agreement with the City of Austin, Capital Metro will maintain the trail for the first year after completion, at which time maintenance of the trail will be turned over to the city.

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