Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge

Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge


The Pfluger Bridge is a pedestrian and bicycle crossing of Lady Bird Lake between Auditorium Shores and Butler Park in Austin, Texas.

In the early 1990s, the city of Austin secured $950,000 in matching Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) funds to widen the South Lamar Boulevard Bridge and studied project alternatives in 1995. 2 All six bridge widening project options included roadway widening.

There was consensus by the public that adding more lanes to the South Lamar Boulevard Bridge was not acceptable. 2 Additionally, the Texas Historical Commission indicated that it did not want the existing bridge altered as it had been declared a historic structure. Instead of pursuing the widening of the South Lamar bridge, the city began exploring the option of designing a separate pedestrian and bicycle bridge across Lady Bird Lake to create a safer crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.

Fifteen concepts were developed for the proposed pedestrian and cyclist bridge that included cable-stayed, arch and beam bridges, and the relocation of an existing, historic truss bridge. 2 One of the more innovative ideas presented was the “Double Curve” concept shaped around an hourglass and include helical ramps.

Four finalized concepts were shown to the public in September 1998, and the “Double Curve” proposal was selected as the preferred design. 2 A construction contract was awarded to Jay-Reese Contractors of Austin in April 2000, with a groundbreaking ceremony held on May 15. The new crossing was completed ahead of schedule on June 16, 2001, and was dedicated after James D. Pfluger, a local architect who had conceived the pedestrian and cyclist trail system on both sides of Town Lake.

Construction on the northwest ramp to the Pfluger Bridge, eliminated in the initial bidding process in 2000, 1 began in March 2010. 3 The 207-foot ramp, which included Ipe Ironwood railing sourced from Brazillian hardwood and 32 directional lights, opened at the cost of $3.5 million on February 4, 2011.



  • State: Texas
  • Route:
  • Type: Girder or Beam, Plate Girder
  • Status: Active - Pedestrian
  • Main Span Length: 342 feet
  • Deck Width: 23 feet to 42 feet
  • Truss Height:


  1. Wear, Ben. “Pfluger Bridge extension opens Friday.” Statesman [Austin], n.p., 2 Feb. 2011. Web. 7 Nov. 2012 Article.
  2. James D. Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Scribd. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. Report.
    1. American Association of State Highway Transporation Officials (AASHTO), Standard Specifications for  Highway Bridges, 16th Edition, 1996, with Interim Updates through 1998.
    2. American Association of State Highway Transporation Officials (AASHTO), Guide Specifications for  Design of Pedestrian Bridges, August 1997.3.
    3. American Association of State Highway Transporation Officials (AASHTO), Guide Specifications for  Horizontally Curved Highway Bridges, 1993, with Interim Updates through 1995.4.
    4. National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), “V-LOAD Analysis,” Highway Structures Design Handbook ,Volume 1, Chapter 12, pg. I/12/16, December 1996.5.
    5. Bridgesoft, Inc., “STLBRIDGE – Design of Continuous Steel Bridge Girders,” Omaha, Nebraska, 1997.6.
    6. Bridge Software Development International, Ltd. (BSDI), “Bridge-System (SM), 3D System,”Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, 1987.
  3. “The Pfluger Bridge Extension.” Capital Excavation. N.p., 2010. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.Article.

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