By Brooke Rogers | CBS11 News

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A deadly Dallas intersection is receiving a long-awaited upgrade, and a major piece of construction begins Thursday night.

Eastbound Mockingbird at Central Expressway will be closed from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Friday. It’s a project many say should have happened years ago.

For those who step across Mockingbird at Central Expressway, they are steps that are long overdue. The Katy Trail pedestrian bridge is underway, and Thursday night crews will install the first tower support. But to film critic Garry Murray’s family, it’s too late.

“If they would have done it a year ago, maybe my son would still be here,” Murray’s mother, Lucy, told CBS11 in February.

Garry was killed at the intersection by a hit-and-run driver a year ago. So was 20-year-old college student Paul Miltenberger a year earlier.

The $17 million project was supposed to be completed in 2011. Councilman Philip Kingston says politics, plus design and construction challenges caused the massive delay.

“I’m very happy to see it get completed, but I’m very frustrated about the pace of construction,” said Councilman Kingston. “They’re not going to be done until August, and that’s kind of irritating, but at least it’s finally moving forward.”

The new bridge will extend from Mockingbird Station to the Highland Dallas Hotel and is just steps away from SMU. Additionally,  pedestrians who use the intersection as a lifeline – hope it saves lives once it’s complete.

“I think it’ll help out a lot,” said Chris Ham, who works at SMU. “The pedestrian bridge is great for the city. It’s great for the area. It’s great for our students. I think it’s going to help out a lot.

The next step is for the city to install two more tower supports. That’s set to happen in about a week.

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