See the latest designs for Austin’s upcoming 1.7-mile Red Line Trail segment

Editor’s Note: The video above shows KXAN Live’s top headlines for July 24, 2023

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin’s Capital Delivery Services Department is seeking public feedback on the latest designs on a 1.7-mile segment of the Red Line Trail under development.

The Red Line Trail is a long-range plan that, ultimately, is expected to become a 32-mile trail and transit corridor running from CapMetro’s downtown Austin station up to the City of Leander. The Red Line Trail follows the existing Red Line rail corridor operated by CapMetro.

The latest 1.7-mile portion — developed in tandem with the Austin Transportation and Public Works Departments’ Urban Trails program — is divvied up into four segments and is poised to connect Braker Lane with the Northern Walnut Creek Trail. It’ll feature 15-foot-wide trails designed to separate people walking and jogging from those biking, scootering or rolling.

1.7-mile Red Line Trail segment in development as part of the 32-mile long-range Red Line Trail plan. (Courtesy: City of Austin Capital Delivery Services Department)

The plan also calls for connections to CapMetro’s future McKalla and Broadmoor rail stations.

“You’re looking at really good transit connectivity and connectivity to events and shopping, retail and employment centers,” said Ana Seivert, a project manager with the City of Austin’s Capital Delivery Services Department.

The project is funded courtesy Austin’s 2016 and 2020 mobility bonds. Construction work on all four segments is estimated to cost approximately $15 million, Seivert said.

Trail Segment No. 1: West Braker Lane to Kramer Lane

Clocking in at 0.33 miles long, this segment is tentatively expected to begin construction sometime in 2025. Following its completion, the trail will connect McKalla Station with Q2 Stadium. Following McKalla Station’s future opening to the public, project heads confirm the existing Kramer Station “will be decommissioned.”

Features of this segment include a new crossing along West Braker Lane, just west of the railroad tracks. The project calls for a proposed pedestrian hybrid beacon, as well as center median adjustments that promote safer crossings.

Additionally, plans for this segment include a new crosswalk and pedestrian crossing at Kramer Lane, connecting the trail to CapMetro’s Kramer Station.

Trail Segment No. 2: Burnet Corridor Project Section

Construction on this roughly 0.33-mile segment is slated to begin this year via the Burnet Corridor project. That project — running from Koenig Lane to White Horse Trail — includes the following planned improvements:

  • Traffic signal upgrades at Koenig Lane, Romeria Drive and White Horse Trail
  • Landscaped pedestrian buffer in front of Lamar Middle School along Allandale Road
  • Pavement repurposing to provide an eastbound right turn lame from RM 2222 to Burnet Road
  • Raised median running from Koenig Lane to White Horse Trail
  • Shared-use paths along the north side of RM 2222, running from White Rock Drive to Burnet Road
  • Relocation of certain bus stops, in collaboration with CapMetro
  • Placemaking along Allandale Road
Red Line Trail Burnet Corridor Project Section (Courtesy: City of Austin Capital Delivery Services Department)

Red Line Trail project heads noted this section of the trail won’t connect to roads or the overarching trails network “until other segments of the Red Line Trail are constructed.”

Trail Segment No. 3: IBM Campus to Gracy Farms Lane

The 0.5-mile segment is designed to connect with the upcoming Broadmoor Station, while also supporting trail connections to Gault Lane and the future Uptown ATX development that’s in the works. The half-mile trail will cross to the west side of the railroad tracks, near the IBM campus.

Construction on this segment is anticipated to begin in spring 2026, but project heads noted the timeline could change since “construction must be coordinated with the ongoing construction of Uptown ATX.”

Under this plan, project officials added trail users “will be routed around the future Broadmoor Station to avoid congestion during events and peak hours.”

As part of this segment’s planned improvements, a new road crossing will be established near the IBM campus, just west of the railroads. It also features a handful of bridge and boardwalk structures, such as:

  • Boardwalk near future Uptown ATX development
  • Culvert crossing at Kramer Creek, Charles Schwab campus detention pond
  • Boardwalk and bridge crossing covering Kramer Creek, just south of Gracy Farms Lane

Trail Segment No. 4: Gracy Farms Lane to the Northern Walnut Creek Trail

Planned connectivity includes a 0.58-mile stretch linking the Northern Walnut Creek Trail near the MoPac Expressway underpass. As part of this section, crews will build a shared-use path along the North MoPac Expressway frontage road, in an effort to improve connectivity to Burnet Road.

At Gracy Farms Lane, this project segment proposes a new crosswalk and repurposed crossing median connecting the trail across the roadway. Construction on the segment is earmarked for a spring 2026 start.

Future Q2 Stadium trail connections

As part of its work on the upcoming McKalla Station, CapMetro is building a trail to connect to the existing one at Q2 Stadium. The work is incorporated into the ongoing McKalla Station project, slated to launch before the start of Austin FC’s 2024 season.

How to weigh in on the Red Line Trail’s design

Members of the public are invited to submit feedback on the planned designs by Aug. 31. A 60% design survey feedback form is available online. The following in-person meetings will also be held for residents to learn more about the project and share their thoughts:

  • July 29, 5-7 p.m. at HopSquad Brewing
  • Aug. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Domain Central Park
  • Aug. 19, 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Balcones District Park
  • Aug. 30, 5:30-7 p.m. at CapMetro’s Kramer Station

To receive future status updates on the Red Line Trail, click here.

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