DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time since Superbowl week last February, bright lights glowed on the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in downtown Dallas.
The lighting gave the public its first glimpse of the bridge in the dark.
Leaders from across the city joined Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to help flip the switch and turn on the lights.
“It’s gonna be an amazing night to be able to light a bridge that has been years in the making,” Mayor Rawlings said just hours before heading to the bridge. “It is gonna change the nightly skyline of Dallas and have a new icon that I think people are gonna be proud of.”
But the mayor said the bridge, designed by Spanish architect and artist Santiago Calatrava, is more than just a pretty sight. “We have a plan for west Dallas that has been designed for the last couple of years. We’ve got a whole economic development plan,” he said.
Rawlings said offering drivers easy access to west Dallas will be good for congestion and the economy.
“You’re gonna able able to connect onto [Interstate] 30 very easily and west Dallas and north Oak Cliff is a great neighborhood. And I think there’s a lot of economy that’s gonna start to take off.”
Flipping the switch on the bridge is the ‘ceremonial’ first step to the opening.
Mayor Rawlings explained, “We’re gonna open up the bridge in March and we’re going to officially be able to walk across it and run across, then eventually drive across it. But this is going to be a precursor for the folks in Dallas to say that there’s something exciting coming.”
The lights on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge will stay lit for two weeks, and then be tested intermittently until the official bridge opening celebration in March.