Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COMBy Bud Gillett

Katy Trail pedestrian bridge (credit: CBS 11 News)

Katy Trail pedestrian bridge (credit: CBS 11 News)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Ground was broken Tuesday for a new pedestrian bridge to span Mockingbird Lane near Central Expressway.
The bridge will allow the extension of the Katy Trail to White Rock Lake and shepherded by two council members.  Retiring councilwoman Angela Hunt, and Gary Griffith before her.

“This really allows us to get out of our cars,” Hunt told dignitaries on hand for the groundbreaking. For Hunt, turning the ceremonial dirt means success for a project long in the planning: “This will also become a great way to connect economic development.,” Hunt said adding, “and make those important economic connections without having to jump in our automobiles and find parking every single time..

It  is argued it will stimulate business along its path.

Palomar Hotel general manager Andrew Wright says its guests will now have easy and safe access to the shops across the street at Mockingbird Station.

“We see a lot of businesses that haven’t had access to the Palomar and we’re going to provide that access,” Wright told CBS 11 News.

With its 80-foot tall towers, the suspension bridge is favorably compared to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. It not only spans Mockingbird Lane, it must also deal with overhead power lines and the DART tunnel at Mockingbird Station.  And It will allow extending the Katy Trail, effectively doubling its length, and connecting it to White Rock Lake.

Completion of the bridge and the Katy Trail extension would mean people could get on at the American Airlines Center and take it all the way to White Rock Lake and not have to get on streets, except for the odd crossing like one along Knox Street near Highland Park.

Katy Trail extension map

Katy Trail extension map

Users of the Katy Trail told CBS 11 News they looked forward to the lengthened trail ride.

Linda Bourn said, “That would be awesome; it’s a drag right now because it dead ends…it would be great to extend the trail.”

Amy Hurst was equally excited, saying the bridge “totally appeals to me. I go to White Rock a lot also, and to be able to do that whole thing would be awesome.”

Richard Metersky said it meant he won’t have to haul his bike by car up to White Rock Lake in order to ride there. It would enable me to go a lot further without backtracking.”

The bridge is set for completion in 2015. When the Katy Trail is extended it will effectively double its current length to seven miles.

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