lady bird lake

Fun Fun Fun Fest
12:36 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Beards Versus Drag Queens: Just a Typical Afternoon in Austin

The may have lost, but the Tug Boat Queens still feel strong
Mengwen Cao/KUT News

Water, the outdoors, music: all things Austinites enjoy, especially when the weather is nice. And all three can go well with some type of beverage in hand.

That was the case during this weekend’s Aqua Olympics. The fourth annual family/tattoo/dog-friendly event, presented by Fun Fun Fun Fest, took over Fiesta Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Events included classic outdoor games like a potato sack race, balloon toss and a ‘6-legged’ race. And, in typical Fun Fun Fun Fest fashion, there were activities like a paddleboard joust on Lady Bird Lake, a taco cannon, a belching contest, and a ‘lagoon launch’ where some of Austin’s best BMX bikers shot down a ramp, flew and flipped through the air, landing in the lake. For many, it could be considered a typical Austin afternoon.

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View From the Boardwalk
5:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Photos: New Views of Austin From Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

Downtown Austin, as seen from the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk. Photograph by Earl McGhee.
flickr.com/ejmc

The Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk opened June 7. The 1.3 mile boardwalk completes a 10-mile loop of trail around the lake.

While a boon to runner and cyclists, the new boardwalk also lets users view downtown Austin from a fresh vantage point. Many in Austin have already utilized the boardwalk to capture new perspectives of the city after this weekend’s grand opening.

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Austin
4:59 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

PHOTOS: Here's a Sneak Peek of the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

Daniel Olivera puts the finishing touches on the boardwalk.
Mose Buchele/KUT KUT

The Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk is set to open to the public on June 7.

The 1.3 mile boardwalk will complete a ten-mile loop of trail around the lake. Howard Lazarus with Austin’s Public Works Department says the boardwalk will play a key role in expanding biking and pedestrian options throughout the region.

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Arts Eclectic
3:13 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

'THIRST' Features a Ghostly Tree on Lady Bird Lake

Concept art for "THIRST"

This weekend, a new art installation will open that will be hard to miss. THIRST, from Women and Their Work, comprises two components: a series of 14,000 prayer flags which will form a 2.5 mile loop near Lady Bird Lake, and a 35-foot cedar elm tree that will hover above the lake itself.

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Austin
1:56 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Council Approves Ambitious Park Plan for Waller Creek

As reported earlier this month, the Austin City Council got a look at the final version of a plan to redevelop the land along Waller Creek into a chain of parks.

They liked what they saw: Today, the council unanimously voted to approve the design plan developed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with little argument.

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Austin
6:05 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Photos: Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake

A Public Works employee speeds by the under-construction boardwalk trail.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The city’s Public Works department has given a midterm progress report on the Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake. 

It’s over a mile of extensions and renovation to the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail east of Congress Avenue, including newly-created boardwalk sections that will extend over the lake on concrete piers. 

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Austin
4:25 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Lake Austin Community Meeting To Take Place Tonight

Shoreline erosion, noise levels and unregistered construction are a few of the issues addressed in a city-commissioned report on Lake Austin.
flickr.com/mdconnell

As summer sets in, the City of Austin is looking for input on issues along Lake Austin.

The Lake Austin Task Force was formed last year to assess issues on the lake, including shoreline erosion and wake-free zones, and the group presents its findings tonight in a public meeting.  

Chuck Lesniak of Austin Watershed Protection says that the report also addresses the problem of construction along Lake Austin in recent years.

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Austin
9:14 am
Wed April 24, 2013

What's Next for Seaholm Intake Facility? Austin Wants Your Input

The Seaholm Intake Facility sits right on Lady Bird Lake.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The City of Austin is holding the first of three public meetings today over what to do with the Seaholm Intake Facility.

The city wants the community’s ideas for how to incorporate part of the old power plant along Lady Bird Lake into the park and trail system.

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Austin
2:24 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Drink Up: Water Coolers Back on the Hike and Bike Trail

The coolers provided by RunTex greeted trail visitors this morning after a two month suspension.
Credit flickr.com/leftymgp

Runners, cyclists and trail patrons welcomed the return of the water coolers at the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail this morning.

RunTex, a local sporting goods store, has provided the water to trail-users for twenty years. But last November, the city removed the coolers over sanitation concerns.

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Health
4:24 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Fees Waived for Water Coolers' Return to Hike and Bike Trail

Water coolers are poised to return to Austin's hike and bike trails, after the city waived permitting fees for the inspection process.
flickr.com/leftymgp

The familiar orange water coolers are poised to return to Austin’s hike and bike trail, after the city council agreed today to waive permitting fees for the businesses that operate the watering stations.

RunTex has been bringing water to Lady Bird Lake since 1990, but the coolers were removed last November after concerns about their security and sanitation. 

Paul Carrozza of RunTex estimates that his store spends $100,000 a year transporting water and ice to the trails. The store spends $3,000 a month in paper cups alone. 

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Austin
8:34 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Construction and Closures Ahead for Hike and Bike Trail

Hike and bike trail joggers will be detoured opposite Seaholm Power Plant downtown.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Two separate projects on Lady Bird Lake may temporarily get in the way of folks using part of the hike and bike trail.

The city is getting ready to begin work along the Shoal Creek peninsula near the Seaholm Power Plant. Construction begins soon, and is expected to last six months. Portions of the hike and bike trail near the peninsula and the parking lot west of Shoal Creek and South of Cesar Chavez will be closed and those using the trail will be detoured to Cesar Chavez.

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Austin
2:25 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

426 Austin Bridges are 'Good' or 'Excellent' - But This One Isn't

It may be time for a do-over on the Emmett Shelton bridge.  

Better known as the Red Bud bridge or the "Low Water" bridge, it spans Lady Bird Lake just below Tom Miller Dam, linking Austin to newer communities to the west.

The city's latest proposed bond package includes $3 million to design a "better bridge at a better angle" across the lake, according to Austin Public Works spokesperson Sara Hartley. She says the bridge is the only one in Austin that is not rated structurally "good" or better, though she says its rating of "fair" means that it is safe to travel.

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Austin
4:21 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Bats Gone Wild: Congress Street Bridge Bat Found with Rabies

Austinites and tourists watch bats take off in droves from the Congress Street Bridge at sunset.
Caleb Bryant-Miller/KUT News

Thinking about watching the bats on Congress Street Bridge the evening?

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Service Department released information today that a bat from under the Congress Street Bridge has tested positive for rabies.

Carole Barasch is with the Health and Human Service Department. She says it isn’t unusual to find a bat with rabies – problems arise when these bats come into contact with humans. The Health and Human Service Department is on alert because it's received word from a third party that an adult female came into contact with a rabid bat at 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3.

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Austin
3:25 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Contract OK'd for Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk

Conceptual art for the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk.
City of Austin

The Austin City Council approved a $21.7 million construction contract for the Lady Bird Lake boardwalk today.

The project, largely funded via a bond election back in 2010, will close a 1.1-mile gap in the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake with a boardwalk that's both partially over land and over water.

To help allay costs, which were initially pegged at $17.4 million, the city will reallocate $5.8 million from the 2010 Bond Street Reconstruction Program. The city will also receive a $3 million donation from the Trail Foundation, a trail advocacy group.

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AM Update
7:21 am
Thu June 7, 2012

AM Update: Future of Lady Bird Lake, Fort Hood Suspect in Court, Spurs Lose Conference Finals

Sketch of what Lady Bird Lake's south shore could look like in the future; Maj. Nidal Hasan will appear in court tomorrow; Kevin Durant and the OKC Thunder beat the Spurs.
The Sustainable Design Assessment Team; Photo courtesy U.S. Army; Photo by NBAE/Getty Images

Three Proposals for Future of Austin's "South Shore"

A team of architects and planners has been studying the south shore of Lady Bird Lake near Congress and South First Street. Last night, they presented three proposals for future of the south shore.

The first focuses on using the area as a natural resource for things like urban agriculture and recreation. The second proposal would include public space but also make room for hotels and food trailers. The third option would include lots of housing and transit.

The expert team will present a more detailed report in the next few months.

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AM Update
7:39 am
Wed June 6, 2012

AM Update: Lady Bird Lake Study, F1 Tickets Going On Sale, Texans Divided On Planned Parenthood

Experts reveal initial plans for Austin's south shore; Tickets for Austin's F1 Grand Prix on sale Sunday; Texans have opposing views of Planned Parenthood.
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News; Photo by Lucia Duncan for KUT News; Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Initial Findings Announced for Lady Bird Lake

Tonight, a team of riverfront planners, landscape architects and green builders will share their vision for the future of Lady Bird Lake’s south shore.

The team has spent the last few days studying what they call “South Shore Central”—which is the area around Congress and First Street. The city says the area is lacking in infrastructure.

Austin won a grant for sustainable development that covers the consulting fees. The team toured the shoreline by land and by boat and listened to recommendations from Austinites.

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Development
4:36 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Architects, Designers Descend on Lady Bird Lake

The planning area in question, on the south side of Lady Bird Lake
Image courtesy City of Austin

The City of Austin wants to know: What do you want our waterfront to look like in 20 years?

Starting tonight, planners are facilitating a three-day discussion on the future of Lady Bird Lake’s “south shore central” area – Congress Avenue, First Street and eastward, including sites like the Hyatt Regency and Austin American-Statesman building. The talks kicked off this morning with boat tours of the area at stake.

Alan Holt, a principal planner with the city, says that this area is lacking in good infrastructure and “like it or not, slated for some big changes because there are a lot of parking lots and development at the end of their shelf life.”

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Memorial Day
4:35 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Safety Tips and Warnings this Memorial Day Weekend

Photo by KUT News

Austinites will flock to the city's numerous parks and waterways this weekend. We've put together a guide for what you need to know about rules and safety.

Watercraft Ban: Put Away that Motorized Surfboard!

If you’re planning to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend on Lady Bird Lake, you'll need to leave your motorized surfboard at home. The Austin Police Department will be enforcing an annual ban on motorized personal watercraft – like jet skis – from sunset on Friday until sunrise on Tuesday.

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Austin
8:54 am
Wed February 22, 2012

AM Update 2/22/12: Cost of Boardwalk Rises, Juárez Bullet Strikes El Pasoan, Meth Seizures at Border

A rendering of the proposed Lady Bird Lake boardwalk.
Image courtesy courtesy of the Trail Foundation, townlaketrail.org

Mounting Expense for Lady Bird Boardwalk 

In 2010, City of Austin voters ushered in Proposition 1, a project to construct a boardwalk trail over and along Lady Bird Lake. Back then, the estimated cost of the project was $17.4 million, but as of today, the lowest bid (of eight) is $20.7 million. That's a 19% jump.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the cost increase can be attributed to two main factors: Oil prices (no surprise there) and a construction industry still trying to correct itself post-recession. Builders are finally doing things they put off during those lean years, like replacing old equipment, and that's made government building projects more costly. Still, city officials aren't worried about coming up with the extra money. 

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