Adelaide B. Leavens
The attached photos were taken on a trip to Vancouver, BC to view the 1 to 40 scale model of the proposed bypass channel of the Trinity Uptown project in Fort Worth. The model allows engineers to simulate flood conditions (2 year to 1,000 year) in order to ensure the viability of the design and an opportunity to tweak it so that erosion and other negative factors can be lessened. (Photo by Adelaide B. Leavens)
"The Uptown project brings a whole new constituency to the river which has been our mission for 37 years," says Adelaide Leavens with Streams and Valleys, Inc.
It's modeled after the Riverwalk in San Antonio. It will be lined with retail, restaurants and recreation to attract people from all over the metroplex.
"Right now, we joke around that the only people that can use our river are the exercisers, but if you look at other great waterfronts, it's a waterfront that's available to families, to children," says J.D. Granger with the Trinity River Vision Authority.
Flood control is the reason behind the project. The Army Corp of Engineers says the 40 year old levee system is outdated.
Now, a bypass channel will be built in downtown connecting the north and south ends of the river, protecting the low-lying areas.
"Once you have flood gates at the connecting points, that low lying area is completely safe," says Granger.
A replica the size of a football field has been built in Vancouver. Tomorrow, a handful of people involved in the project are going to see it.
Though it took a year to build and 1.7 million dollars, Granger says it has helped fine tune the plans and given people a better feel for the finished product.
"When you step on that platform you realize how smart this project is and how it's going to redefine our city," says Granger.
The bypass channel will cost an estimated $600 million to build. Proponents say it will add $1 billion to the cities tax base and bring 16,000 new jobs to the area.