The Dallas skyline is about to get its most dramatic addition in years.
As early as Friday, the 400-foot-tall arch of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge will begin rising over the Trinity River. The bridge will connect the Woodall Rodgers Freeway to Singleton Boulevard.
The bridge was designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The single white, tubular, steel arch is comprised of 25 sections, each approximately 15 feet in diameter. A massive crane will stack the sections atop two concrete pylons that will anchor the arch. They will then be bolted and welded together.
Once the arch starts rising, it will happen quickly. The entire structure could be in place in a matter of weeks.
Workers will then string a web of cables that will support the wing-like bridge deck, which is already taking shape. When it's finished, the bridge will be wide enough for six lanes of traffic.
The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge costs $119 million, paid for by a combination of public and private money. It is a key part of the city's controversial plan to redevelop the stretch of Trinity River in downtown Dallas.
The bridge is scheduled to open in mid-2011.