Marble Falls EDC approves Backbone Creek pedestrian bridge connecting parks

A new pedestrian bridge connecting Johnson and Lakeside parks was unanimously approved by members of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors during a meeting Wednesday, July 6. The bridge is Phase 1c of the city’s Park Development Plan.

With the vote, engineering services company Stantec can now begin work on the project’s schematic design and design development.

Stantec also has been tasked by the EDC with several other projects within Phase 1b of the Park Development Plan, including a Lakeside Park boardwalkthe renovation of the old power house, and several trail improvements.

The bridge project will be paid for with about $1.5 million out of an $8 million sales tax revenue bond the EDC was issued last year. It will cover the cost of the bridge, crosswalks, trail connections, a retaining wall, landscaping, and lighting. The most expensive item will be the retaining wall, which is meant to mimic the pre-existing wall on the other side of the creek.

EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher believes the new bridge will be well-received by residents.

“The thing I’m most excited about is connecting our parks,” he said. “Right now, it’s a little bit of a haul to get from one park to another. The pedestrian bridge over Backbone Creek will help connect those amenities. It will be one more way to enjoy the environment.”

The bridge will have a clearance of 10 feet above the current water level. This should give enough room for pontoon boats and boats with wakeboard towers to go under, Fletcher said.

In a cost-saving effort, the EDC aims to have Stantec build and deliver the boardwalk and the pedestrian bridge at the same time. Fletcher hopes to have construction plans to present to the EDC board by September.

“We’re trying to get this project caught up to where we are with Phase 1b,” Fletcher said. “That way, we can have both (the boardwalk) and the bridge delivered at the same time.”

The EDC board voted 4-0 to approve the next phase of this project. Director Richard Westerman was absent.

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