Photo by Michael Knox

Photo by Michael Knox

150827 Arch 1
Northwest Abutment

2nd Street (Butterfly) Bridge

Austin, TX, USA


Client:  City of Austin

Estimated Completion Date:  Summer 2016

Cost:  $10M



Touchstone Architecture was responsible for bridge aesthetic design and public involvement during the preliminary design and final design phases for 2nd Street Bridge. The project included a canted arch bridge over Shoal Creek in Austin, Texas. Touchstone Architecture lead the public involvement and architectural design for this signature urban project in downtown Austin. The new bridge was designed to be seen from all angles and every detail and connection was designed with the user in mind. The bridge is at the center of the larger Seaholm District Project which also includes the Seaholm Power Plant Redevelopment, the new Central Library, and the Thomas C. Green Water Treatment Plant Redevelopment.  


The bridge can be looked at in two separate but cohesive parts, the first being a standalone vehicular bridge and the second a pedestrian bridge. The cable array creates a clear delineation between pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This separation allows pedestrians to have a sense of place within the bridge and not feel as if it is a race to cross the bridge. On either side of the bridge, a new connection to the city is made by grand staircases and planters which connect the existing under-bridge trail to the main road.


Through innovative approach to progressive refinement, Touchstone Architecture led a very diverse group of stakeholder participants to a point of consensus, allowing the project to move forward with great enthusiasm. The bridge serves as the centerpiece for the most significant downtown revitalization project ever undertaken in Austin.