Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 Fort Worth Reporter
After months of detours, construction crews may be about 10 days away from opening the West 7th Street bridge to vehicle traffic.
After nearly four months of closures and detours, Fort Worth's West 7th Street Bridge is almost back open, weather permitting.
The construction fences will be coming down in just a matter of days -- much earlier than expected.
Dry, warm weather helped construction crews get to this point and by the first few days of October traffic will be flowing on the main lanes once again, much to the relief of drivers and businesses.
"We're excited that the bridge is getting done and hope it's soon," said Mark Strand, who's family comes to Trinity Park and the West 7th Development on a regular basis.
Soon has almost arrived. The bridge first closed in early May, off and on, before shutting down for good in early June. Construction was expected to last until early November, but will now finish about 30 days earlier.
"It's amazing, we were talking on the way here, 'it's gotta be another six months before its done,'" said Strand. "But they're moving"
Area businesses, like Sweet Sammie's at West 7th and Currie streets are happy too.
"We're looking forward to this being over with," said owner Dan Close. "We do deliveries downtown, lots of reasons we go to and from downtown, it's been very inconvenient. So, very nice for that (the bridge) to be back."
While business hasn't taken a huge hit, they certainly noticed the traffic.
"If you try to do anything in the morning or around 5 o'clock, might as well stay where you are," Close said.
The city, it's partner on the project TxDOT and Cultural District business leaders knew there would be traffic congestion on the detours and an impact to some businesses. That is part of the reason why the contractor, Sundt, had a million-dollar bonus to finish early and also why the signature arches were built off site for more than a year.
"It'll be nice to see things get back to normal," Close said.
In two weeks this should be back to normal, just with a different look.
"The bridge is beautiful," said Debbie Strand. "I think it adds a lot of pizzazz to this area, we're excited that its going to be done."
The $26 million bridge replaced the 100-year-old bridge that needed upgrades.
Even though vehicle traffic will, if the weather allows, return in early October, work on the sidewalks and landscaping will continue.