Reporting Elizabeth Dinh
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The brand new 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth is opening to traffic on Wednesday, and it is an entire month ahead of schedule. It will be the first pre-cast network arch bridge in the world.
The area has been under construction since June, back when the original 7th Street Bridge was demolished. This new structure is replacing that 100-year-old bridge and changing up the Fort Worth skyline.
“We’re excited,” said Fort Worth resident Kay Rollins. “We think it looks great. It’s going to be so nice. We’re really thrilled to have 7th Street connected to downtown again, instead of having to go the long way.”
Much of the bridge was cast and created off-site, for about 18 months before the area was shut down for construction. That process helped road crews complete the project ahead of schedule — in only about four months. The Texas Department of Transportation said that drivers will still see some nighttime closures of the bridge over the next few weeks, as workers put some finishing touches on the project — such as landscaping.
Carrying a $26 million price tag, the bridge will be able to accomodate more than just motor vehicle traffic. There are also designated areas for both pedestrians and bicyclists, plus better lighting than before. Those additions will be also be finished later this year.
The bridge opens to traffic at 5:05 p.m. on Wednesday night, just after a parade featuring some local dignitaries. Then, after work is entirely finished, the new 7th Street Bridge gets an official opening and dedication in November.
“It’s going to be a beautiful addition to the area,” said Fort Worth resident June Leafblad.
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