Dec 2nd 2022 | Posted in Infrastructure by Texas Government Insider

The City of Austin has released a draft of the Zilker Metropolitan Park Vision Plan to the public. The draft will be open for comment until January 8.

Zilker Park Credit Austin Parks Foundation  002  Zilker Metropolitan Park Vision Plan revealed to public

Zilker Park lawn. Courtesy of Austin Parks Foundation.

The 351-acre park’s vision plan features four main pieces: a land bridge connecting the north and south sides of Barton Springs Road; 91 acres of ecological uplift to heal damaged areas of the park; improved mobility within and to the park; and a welcome plaza that repurposes historic buildings to serve as visitor hubs.

Broken down into five geographic areas, the major improvements proposed include:

Northern area:

  • Construction of a parking garage on the east side of MoPac.
  • Realigning Stratford Drive east of MoPac and potentially adding a sound wall.
  • Changing the existing landfill area to restore woodland and meadow.

Central area: 

  • Land bridge over Barton Springs Road to stitch together the north and south sides of the park with an underground parking garage.
  • Sports area with several active recreation fields for various activities.
  • Zilker Hillside Theater near the north end of land bridge.

Eastern side:

  • Picnic area with concessions and restroom near Great Lawn.
  • New bike and pedestrian bridge along Toomey Road.
  • Turning Lou Neff Road into pedestrian- and bike-only trail.

Southern area: 

  • Year-round access to Barton Springs Pool with new playscapes during large events.
  • Rehabilitation of Barton Creek with controlled water access and erosion treatments.

Western area: 

  • New nature trail at southern part of Columbus Drive.
  • Turning Andrew Zilker Road into pedestrian and bike only trails.
  • Continuing nature trail from Barton Creek Greenbelt to Lady Bird Lake.
  • Pedestrian bridge on west side of Barton Springs Pool to increase connectivity across Barton Creek.

The community will be able to comment on and complete a survey on the plan as well as participate in a virtual community meeting on December 7 and an in-person open house on December 10.