DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM)– The long-awaited Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is scheduled to open the first weekend in March. It will connect downtown Dallas with neighborhoods west of the Trinity River.

Critics argue that the impressive structure is a bridge to nowhere. But others see it as the future for two neighborhoods on the verge of a comeback. “I think it’s really going to draw folks to this area and revitalize both sides of the river,” said TX-DOT project manager, Duane Milligan.

The west side of the bridge flows into West Dallas, which sits next to North Oak Cliff. Both areas have been trying to revitalize their neighborhoods, but progress has been slow, especially in West Dallas.

North Oak Cliff has had success with its Bishop Arts District along with the Belmont Hotel and Smoke restaurant on Fort Worth Avenue.

Neighborhood leaders see the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge as a way to keep that momentum going. “A lot of people are calling it the gateway into West Dallas and North Oak Cliff,” explained Ron Veech of the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Photo by CBS 11's Jay Gormley

It’s also a main reason why developers are trying to push through two major projects. One is called “The Collective“, which if approved, will sit on 22 acres at Colorado And Fort Worth Avenue.

The other development is called “Sylvan Thirty.” It’s slated to occupy a vacant lot where Sylvan meets Interstate-30. Both projects consist of shops, apartments and offices, much like the West Village in Uptown Dallas.

“We’re bringing in additional retail and additional places for people to live,” said Dallas Councilman Scott Griggs. “It’s all going to work together and there’s going to be a great deal of synergy.”

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group took another step toward that synergy by presenting the city with $25,000 to help pay for bicycle lanes along Fort Worth Avenue from North Oak Cliff into downtown Dallas.