At first, a bridge across Brays Bayou was a simple fix to a parking problem in Mason Park east of downtown, Houston parks officials said.
Seven years later, it’s still a way for soccer players and fans to find a parking spot, but also a key link – one of a handful of missing links – in a trails system slowly becoming the backbone of Houston’s nonmotorized transportation system.
“It is all going to end up connecting,” city parks director Joe Turner said, as he laid out plans for tying one side of Mason Park to the other, via a roughly 400-foot, $4.5 million bridge. “We have some links to make, but pretty soon someone will be able to go from over yonder by the railroad tracks to (University of Houston).”
The last major piece of funding for the Mason Park bridge, which held back construction, came through May 24, when the Houston-Galveston Area Council approved $3.5 million, out of a pot of federal money aimed at nonvehicular transportation projects. State transportation officials sign off on projects, but delegate preferences in the Houston area to the local council. Two other projects to connect existing bicycle routes around the University of Houston and Clear Lake also received funding recommendations.