A long-planned urban trail extension that will provide protected passage under a major city artery revved up last week, with crews preparing the site in advance of construction.

The new Northern Walnut Creek Trail pathway will extend the concrete trail from Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park on the west side of North Lamar Boulevard to the Walnut Bluffs trailhead on just east side of the street. The extension will add more than a mile of 12-foot-wide urban trail to the network, including two bridges and four boardwalks, and provide a safer east-west path for nonmotorists crossing North Lamar. 

In partnership with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Public Works’ Urban Trails Program will be prepping the site in the coming months. Parts of the trail within Walnut Creek Park will be closed intermittently during the extension construction, but paths crossing it will remain open. 

Built with funds from the 2016 Mobility Bond, the $6.2 million extension is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. It is part of the Walnut Creek Urban Trail network, a planned 19-mile path that will connect the Govalle Neighborhood Park in East Austin to Balcones District Park in North Austin and incorporate other parks, neighborhoods, and landmarks along the way.