3rd Street Trestle Celebration

June 12, 2022  | By Shoal Creek Conservancy

Shoal Creek Conservancy and partners celebrate listing of the 3rd Street Trestle on the National Register of Historic Places

The Trestle is poised to play a new role as public pedestrian plaza


Photo by Downtown Austin Alliance, June 2022


AUSTIN, Texas – Shoal Creek Conservancy hosted a celebration on Friday, June 10, 2022, to highlight the recent listing of the 3rd Street Trestle over Shoal Creek on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo by Downtown Austin Alliance, June 2022

The nearly century-old timber structure is an eye catching window to Austin’s past amidst gleaming modern skyscrapers. Moreover, with cooperation by the City of Austin, the Trestle could be restored and reborn as a public pedestrian plaza. Shoal Creek Conservancy and the Downtown Austin Alliance have recommended such a restoration in the Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy, a set of proposed improvements to the area around 3rd Street and Shoal Creek. The Public Space Strategy aims to make the area safer, more connected, and more inviting through better bikeways, new trail connections, and pedestrian plazas woven together with urban greenery.

Originally built in 1876 by the International-Great Northern (I-GN) Railroad and later rebuilt in 1908 and again in 1925, the timbered and wooden trestle stands today as a reminder of the remarkable evolution that transformed Austin when railroads arrived more than 140 years ago. By 1935, the Trestle was at the heart of a bustling cargo district, which facilitated the trade of supplies essential to growing Austin’s businesses, homes and public infrastructure.

Today, most vestiges of Austin’s early railroading days have disappeared, giving the Trestle the distinction of being one of the last remaining parts of the city’s railroading infrastructure that carried trains into the central business district.

The National Register listing solidifies the 3rd Street Trestle’s importance in Austin’s history and positions it for a new life as an active plaza for Austinites to reflect, relax and enjoy Shoal Creek.

The 3rd Street Trestle and neighboring bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Shoal Creek. Photo by Atelier Wong.


Rendering from the Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy featuring the 3rd Street Trestle as a public plaza and scenic overlook. Image created by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects.


About Shoal Creek Conservancy

SCC brings to life Austin’s 11-mile Shoal Creek corridor. We restore fishable, swimmable waters, empower the public to steward Shoal Creek, and spearhead on-the-ground improvements that make Shoal Creek and its Trail safer, more accessible, and more inspiring places to be. We envision Shoal Creek Trail and Bikeway as part of a citywide network of urban trails that makes being active a fun, easy, and daily choice for all Austinites. For more information, visit www.shoalcreekconservancy.org.

About the Cypress & Shoal Creek Project

The Cypress & Shoal Creek Public Space Strategy represents an important step in implementation of the Shoal Creek Trail Plan, a community-guided vision for the future of the Shoal Creek Trail. Completed in 2018 with the active participation of 100+ community groups, the Trail Plan calls for a seamless, connected pathway of hike-and-bike trails along the 11-mile Shoal Creek corridor and connections to other urban trails citywide. Ultimately, Shoal Creek will become part of the “Big Loop,” a 30-mile loop of trails and bikeways traversing the city. Improvements to the Cypress & Shoal Creek area emerged on the Trail Plan’s list of the top 5 stakeholder-identified priority projects.