Key fixtures in the much anticipated Trinity Uptown Project in Fort Worth received a shot in the arm Thursday. The Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments secured the final $15 million for the Henderson and Main Street bridges.
There is presently no reason to have a bridge near the railroad tracks at Henderson north of White Settlement and North Main near Northeast 10th Street. But under the Trinity Uptown project, a 1.5 mile river bypass will protect the area from flooding and create a reason for the stylish new bridges.
But before water begins to flow in those areas, the bridges need to be built.
"Building them when it's dry makes a big difference," Woody Frossard, Trinity River Vision Authority Project Manager, said. "It's a lot cheaper to build them (the bridges) when it's dry then when it's over water. It will be a very important piece to get the bypass channel moving."
In addition to flood control, officials behind the project say it will be a huge economic boost to the area. But in order to build the project TRVA had to secure the funds.
Congresswoman Kay Granger announced the final funds at a press conference Thursday morning. The $15 million from NCTCOG will join $23 million secured by Granger and $24.8 million from local funds.
"It is a big deal," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "$14 million to do the two bridges is great, it will just help move our transportation ball a little more forward."
The ball was already suppose to be rolling along Henderson Street, but the bridge construction was delayed so that the plans could be improved. The bridge is a bit more affordable as it is narrower and will include a roundabout intersection with White Settlement Road.
The entire project will cost upwards of $900 million, so this latest money is just a small portion but a big step toward completion.
"I think people will be really pleased, because even before we get into the full bypass channel, the Henderson Street bridge will help alleviate some traffic," Price said.
Construction is set to begin on Henderson Street by the end of 2012 and last three to four years. The Main Street bridge construction will begin by the end of 2013 and also take several years to complete.
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