The Austin Chronicle

The Daily Hustle: 7/12/10

By Wells Dunbar, July 12, 2010, 9:05am, Newsdesk

The city released revisions to the proposed November transportation bond election on Friday. No major changes to the plan thus far, but they've been tinkering around the edges of the most controversial project, the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk.

In a memo to the bond's citizen task force, Transportation director Rob Spillar lays out the changes:

Staff recommends retaining the Boardwalks Project (Project Number 2075) as part of bond proposal but phasing it to take advantage of the partnership with the Trails Foundation as follows:

• Boardwalk Phase 1: provide connection from the current terminus of the Lady Bird Lake Trail to just east of IH 35; delay funding for the Blunn Creek connection until real estate issues for that connection have been resolved. Cost of Boardwalk Phase 1 (without additional connection) is $9 million. Money for the additional Blunn Creek connection will be incorporated into the Pedestrian Program funding category. Recommend funding $9 million via 2010 Mobility Bond.

• Boardwalk Phase 2: complete connection from the interim terminus east of IH 35 to Lake Shore Drive; offset cost of Phase 2 with the pledged Trail Foundation contribution of $3 million. Cost of Boardwalk Phase 2 is $7.9 million (less $3M in Trail Foundation contribution = $4.9 million). Recommend funding $4.9 million to complete the Boardwalk project using 2010 Mobility Bond. Phasing allows Trails Foundation investment to be made as part of Phase 2.

• Pedestrian Program Funding: Recommend moving $500,000 from the Boardwalk Project to the pedestrian program fund to allow for funding of Blunn Creek connection to Boardwalk once real estate issues have been resolved.

• Sabine/6th Street/ and Waller Creek Trail improvements (Project Number 5979): Design funds for the Sabine/6th Street and Waller Creek Trail improvements were previously included with the Boardwalk project. We are reallocating that funding to these specific projects. Recommend moving $1 million in funds from Boardwalk project and adding $0.7 million from expanded funding to the Sabine/6th Street and Waller Creek project (Note: the $1 million moved from the Boardwalk was previously always intended for use in the Sabine/6th Street project).

Other tweaks mainly take freed up bond money to look at I-35 issues, but is that enough to placate the roads crowd, and others who don't see it as the best use of bond money?

What the hell else is happening?

On the city calendar: The 2010 Transportation Bond Citizen Task Force meets in the Board and Commission room at City Hall, 301 W. Second, 3pm.

The Austin Music Commission meets at the offices of ME Television, 2130 S. Congress, 6pm.

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