1 p.m. Update: Just got word from NTTA's Michael Rey, who reports that NTTA has decided to go ahead and open the new bridge beginning Monday after rush hour (figure about 9 a.m.). What this means is, motorists during the midday Friday can expect some longer than usual delays, as crews switch the lanes over. Rey says the crews are aiming to make the switch before Friday afternoon rush hour begins (which, by my calculation, is usually around 3:30 p.m.)
Showers are in the forecast for North Texas Friday night and Saturday morning. NTTA feels it's important to get the new bridge open this week.
By the way, next weekend, nearby Texas Christian University is playing a home game at Amon G. Carter Stadium, and closing this big ol' bridge at that time might not go over well with the Frogs faithful.
The massive new Hulen Street bridge in west Fort Worth will open Saturday,if the weather cooperates. But that's a big "if." Rain is in the forecast, and work crews won't be able to stripe the new lanes if the surface is wet.
Crews working for the North Texas Tollway Authority, which is in charge of construction, will make every effort to get the new bridge open this weekend, spokesman Michael Rey said.
The impending opening of the bridge will be the latest signal that work on the $1.6 billion Chisholm Trail Parkway toll road from Fort Worth to Cleburne is on schedule. Chisholm Trail Parkway, which will be 28 miles long, is on course to be completed by mid-2014.
But until then, traffic headaches are far from over. Motorists must still endure narrowed lanes on the new bridge until the spring of 2013. The new bridge will be used as a staging ground for the piece-by-piece demolition of the old Hulen Street bridge. That arrangement is part of a deal between the North Texas Tollway Authority, Texas Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad to build the project with minimal impact on the massive Davidson railyard immediately below the bridge.