Red Bud Isle
Backstory and Context
The creation of Red Bud Isle lay in the destruction of the original Lake Austin dam. On April 7, 1900, after a historic rainfall, the dam broke, leaving a 60-foot gap in the wall. This caused large granite blocks to start flowing downstream and provided a foundation that would become Red Bud Isle.
Over the years, sediments and plants started making their ways onto the island. Cypress and red bud trees were the first to grow on the island, which can be found all over the park now.
With the growing population of Austin Texas, increasing amounts of people drive over the ‘low-water bridge’ that crosses Red Bud Isle. Because of the traffic and the narrowness of the bridge, many accidents have occurred. The now 68-year old bridge of Red Bud Isle, is wearing out from the daily load of 13,000 cars. It is in ‘fair condition’, however, the city of Austin has been looking to replace the bridge for about a decade now.
The Austin City Council asked voters in November 2012 for $3 million to design a replacement bridge, as part of a $385 million bond package. However, the Austin City Council did not give the ‘ok’ to build the replacement. Their plans for the new model would be to extend the width to
55-60 feet, which would be wider than the original and at least 20 feet
higher above the ground.
A conflict has arisen regarding the actual construction of the bridge; in deconstructing the old bridge, the use of explosives would be involved. Some feel this use of explosives would be dangerous and that there are different means of demolishing the bridge. This is still under debate but to provide the public with some news, he city informs people the new bridge would be available to public use around 2023.
In the meantime, in 2016, six-foot tall fences were put in place to prevent rock slides and creating a danger when they fell on the roadway below. The fences, however, have proven to be a danger for cyclists and the request of removal comes from the neighborhood forum. City officials agreed with these complaints but allowed the fencing to remain for another 6 months before removal.