Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue

The Trail Bridge at Congress Avenue is now completed. This new section of the Butler Hike and Bike Trail replaces a narrow wooden bridge on the north side of Lady Bird Lake. This project was guided by The Trail Foundation and funded by local businesses and individuals.

Look at how wide this is! I had many near-collisions on that old rickety bridge which was only six feet across. Now there’s plenty of room for pedestrians and strollers, bikes, electric scooters and Segways. (Yep, the trail gets crowded.)

The new Trail Bridge goes underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge, the summer home of the world’s largest urban bat colony. An estimated 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats live in the crevices beneath the road surface. Each evening around dusk, crowds gather to watch the bats fly out in search of food. A new viewing platform now extends out over the lake on the north shore.

A bat has been painted on one of the Congress Avenue Bridge piers. I’m not an expert, but I assume that’s a Mexican free-tailed bat. And I also assume that you would want to know that the Mexican free-tailed bat is the official flying mammal of the state of Texas.

This bridge has been nicknamed “The Mini-Boardwalk” since it’s a smaller version of The Boardwalk that was built along the south shore four years ago. Both trail projects are wonderful improvements for our city.

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