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Boardwalk Opens On Lady Bird Lake

Updated: Sunday, June 8 2014, 12:35 PM CDT

On Saturday the $27 million Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake is officially open. The 1.2-mile stretch opened from South Congress to Lakeshore Park at 10 a.m., closing the southeastern gap of the Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

Officials say the trail isn't just a benefit to recreation but also safety. Now walkers, joggers, and cyclists don't have to brave Riverside Drive or cross over I-35 to get from South Congress to Lakeshore. City officials say narrow sidewalks and heavy traffic means that route just isn't safe. According to the Trail Foundation, anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 people walk on the trail on any given day. Already Saturday morning and afternoon, several people they've been waiting a long time for opening day.

"It gives Austin an extra cool factor," said Kim Wilson, a cyclist on the boardwalk Saturday morning. "Riding along I was sitting there saying to myself 'I am so lucky to live in Austin.' This is a really awesome addition to our city."

The city is also hoping the boardwalk will mean more people coming to the Eastside and more money for nearby businesses.

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Boardwalk Opens On Lady Bird Lake

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