Court upholds mask mandate for city, county

A U.S. District Court judge ruled Friday against the state in its suit to overturn a mask mandate for Austin and Travis County, which means that for the next two weeks most people in indoor spaces will be required by local authorities to wear the face coverings. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued to uphold Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's prior order ending a statewide mask mandate after local officials said it would keep the mandate in place in the city and county. The judge refused to grant the a temporary injunction to overrule Austin and Travis County in the case but will continue to hear arguments before making a final ruling. (KXAN)

Austin FC sets debut date for new stadium

Austin FC, the city's brand-new Major League Soccer team, announced its debut home and away dates last week. Its June 19 home opener might be the first chance for some fans (we don't know how many) to experience its Q2 Stadium—which is reportedly 95 percent complete. Austin FC President Andy Loughnane told Community Impact Wednesday that the club  doesn't know what its June capacity will be due to the ongoing pandemic, but he expects more information about 2021 in-person attendance to be announced in May. The stadium, which was built on eight acres of land at 10414 McKalla Place after a lively public debate over its location, will be owned by the city of Austin and operated by Austin FC. Gensler is the architect on the project, and Austin Construction is providing overall general management and general contracting services for the facilities. (Community Impact)

SH130 corridor continues to draw construction projects

The Pfugerville City Council recently approved around 250,000 square feet of industrial development on 15.5 acres along State Highway 130 just north of Austin. Dallas-based Lincoln Property will develop the $12 million complex, which will offer both warehouse and office space, with Alliance Architect designing. The area around the new complex and along the corridor has attracted a number of industrial projects—some built and some on the way—including a facility for Elon Musk's The Boring Company. (Austin Business Journal)

Ann Richards watches over Congress

Giant likenesses and quotations of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards were unfurled over her namesake bridge Tuesday. Formally known as the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge (and the place where the bats come out at night), the stretch of road over Lady Bird Lake is one of 11 Downtown Austin blocks currently festooned with almost 100 8-foot-tall banners commemorating the 30th anniversary of her inauguration, her legacy School for Young Women Leaders, and, because why not, Women's History Month. The installation is part of Downtown Austin Alliance's Writing on the Walls project. (KVUE)

Austin growth hits the trail

It's not your imagination—there are a lot more people around the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail these days. According to a recent safety and mobility study released by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, density around the trail has doubled in the past decade and is projected to double again by the year 2040. Conducted in partnership with the Trail Foundation and the Austin Urban Trails Program in the Public Works Department, the study looked at the impact Austin's growth has had on the much-enjoyed trail, which loops around Lady Bird Lake in the center of the city. Surveys conducted during the citizen engagement part of the study found the top two public concerns about the trail to be safety and surface conditions. The larger subject of the study is creating a vision for what can be done to improve safety and mobility as well as the rich natural experience offered by the trail. The study is led by Nelson Nygaard Consulting Associates with additional partners are Studio Balcones and Scott Oldner Lighting. (City of Austin)