Lamar Boulevard Bridge

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Lamar Boulevard Bridge
Lamar Bridge 2007.jpg
The Lamar Boulevard Bridge in 2007
Location Loop 343 (Lamar Boulevard), Austin, Texas, USA
Coordinates 30°15′56″N 97°45′23″W / 30.26556°N 97.75639°W / 30.26556; -97.75639Coordinates: 30°15′56″N 97°45′23″W / 30.26556°N 97.75639°W / 30.26556; -97.75639
Built 1942
Architect Cage Brothers and L. A. Turner
NRHP Reference # 94000678
Added to NRHP July 7, 1994

The Lamar Boulevard Bridge is a historic bridge carrying Texas State Highway Loop 343 (Lamar Boulevard) over Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas, United States. The bridge features six open spandrel concrete arches spanning 659 feet (201 m) and carries tens of thousands of vehicles daily across the lake.[1] Completed in 1942, the Lamar Boulevard Bridge was the second permanent bridge to cross the Colorado River (after the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge), and one of the last Art Deco-style open-spandrel concrete arch bridges built in Texas.[2] The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 7, 1994.

The bridge carries four roadway lanes across Lady Bird Lake and is used heavily; a 2011 study by the Downtown Austin Alliance asserted that the bridge experiences more than twice the traffic volume it was designed for.[3]

Addition of parallel pedestrian bridge[edit]

In the 1990s, the bridge became notorious for road accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians. The City of Austin explored possibilities for widening the bridge to add space for non-automotive traffic, but the Texas Historical Commission opposed these proposals out of a desire to preserve the bridge's historic design.[4] This conflict eventually led to the construction of the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge in 2001.[5][6] Situated 200 feet (61 m) to the east of the Lamar bridge, the pedestrian bridge links the north and south sides of the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lamar Boulevard Bridge". Historic Bridge Foundation. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mid-Century and Post-World War II Bridges". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Wise, Jarrod (22 September 2010). "Study: Lamar bridge exceeds traffic volumes". KXAN.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Gibson, Tom (July 2003). "Bridge of Curves". Progressive Engineer. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Taylor, Elizabeth (18 June 2001). "Pedestrian bridge opens in central Austin". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on September 4, 2006. 
  6. ^ "South Lamar Boulevard Bridge (TX Loop 343)". Bridges & Tunnels. Retrieved 12 October 2015.