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December 16, 2010

Work to begin on new W. 7th St. bridge in Fort Worth

Bridge7thstreet FORT WORTH -- Construction of the new West Seventh Street bridge near downtown Fort Worth will begin early next year. The project will last until fall 2012, but motorists won't have to worry about many lane closures for the first year, officials said.

However, there will be a period of up to 150 days in mid-2012 when the bridge is completely closed, according to a $22.7 million contract approved Thursday by the Texas Transportation Commission.

The contract offers lots of incentives for workers to minimize the headache on motorists, and to get the project completed before the 2012 Christmas shopping season, commissioner Bill Meadows of Fort Worth said.

"It's a contract that has lots of incentives to discourage long delays," he said.

Construction of the signature bridge, which links downtown Fort Worth to the city's cultural district on its west side, will be handled by Tradeco Infrastructura Inc. of Houston. The contractor will get started in early 2011 and complete the project in fall 2012, Texas Department of Transportation officials said.BridgeW 7th PR image

The long-awaited project includes replacing an aging, decaying bridge that was originally built in 1913, and extended in 1953 when the Trinity River was re-channelized.

The signature design will include six arch spans across the river, four main lanes and 10-foot-wide sidewalks for enhanced pedestrian access.

“The current bridge used to connect downtown to car dealerships and department stores. Today, a renaissance is under way," Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief said. "Seventh Street is about both residential and commercial development. It’s a vibrant, pedestrian friendly atmosphere. The new bridge matches that character."

The contractor will build 12 precast arches -- two per span -- off-site, to minimize traffic disruptions, transportation department spokesman Val Lopez said.

Motorists won't have to worry about many lane closures in 2011, he said.

In spring 2012, the bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction, Lopez said. Then during the summer, the bridge will be full closed for no more than 150 days, according to the contract -- and during that time the old bridge will be removed and the new deck will be put in place.

-- Gordon Dickson


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".... four main lanes ...." That's no better than the current bridge -- why spend the money? Make it six lanes ! !


@ ACitizen - the bridge is almost 100 years old and nearing structural failure. That's the main reason, not traffic concerns. I drive that way and sometimes use the 7th street bridge and the only time congestion is an issue is during weekday lunchtime.


I agree with the first commenter – MAKE IT SIX LANES! Plan for the future - not just for today.

@ACitizen: think out of the box much or just normal everyday selfish thoughts? Remember it’s not about you, but the future!


OK, let's think about this for a minute...traffic projections are flat for the next 30 years, so do we need the six lanes? Do you know how much six lanes would cost? What do you propose we do with the businesses on the north and south side of West Seventh?


In Texas you are issued two license plates and you must have both on your vehicle. Sorry you don't think it looks good, but that's the law, and I wish every person who didn't display both plates or display them correctly would be issued citations.

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