Friday, April 6, 2012

Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk May Take Funding from Third Street Project

A Plus Apartments CardThe Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk has run into higher than anticipated costs and city officials may need to downsize a planned Third Street Makeover to fund it, reports.   The boardwalk would close a gap in the hike-and-bike trail on the south side of the lake between Congress Avenue and Lakeshore Drive.  Currently, trail users have to run on narrow concrete sidewalks close to Riverside Drive traffic and through apartment parking lots to use that portion of the trail.

The boardwalk was originally budgeted at $17.4 million, but the cheapest bid wound up coming in at $20.7 million, plus a $1 million contingency.  The Public Works director blamed the added cost on the fact that the city didn't get bids out in time to take advantage of the depressed construction prices during the recession and to contractor's uneasiness with the risk that comes with putting more than a half-mile of boardwalk over the water.

The extra $3-4 million will most likely come from reducing the scope of the planned Third Street "Great Streets" Makeover.  That plan had the city widening sidewalks and adding landscaping and bike lanes to Third Street between Nueces and Trinity.  Under the new plan, the project would only add these improvements to the three blocks of Third Street between Congress and Trinity, much to the consternation of area business owners and apartment and condo dwellers.