Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 News
Work is nearly complete on Fort Worth's West Seventh Street Bridge and within the next year work will start on three new bridges as part of the Panther Island development run by the Trinity River Vision.
The final touches to the West Seventh Street bridge are nearly complete, but bridge work around downtown Fort Worth area is far from over.
Within the next year, work will intensify on three new bridges -- White Settlement, Henderson Street and North Main Street -- as part of the Panther Island development run by the Trinity River Vision. By late spring or early summer, work on turning Panther Island into an actual island will begin.
Around White Settlement and the Fort Worth & Western Railroad tracks, the right-of-way has been mostly cleared. Near Henderson Street and the tracks, a detour road is nearly completed. And on North Main Street, the moving of utility lines is almost finished.
"A lot of the work that has taken place is, you know, behind the scenes," said Mark Rauscher, the city senior capital programs manager who is overseeing the project.
While some bridge work had been slated to start earlier this year, it was decided that doing all three bridges at once would be easier. Rauscher said the city also plans to mitigate any traffic effects from the project.
"We don't anticipate any impacts, because we'll have those detours in place to help the traveling public," he said.
Little Germany Restaurant is one of a handful of businesses still in the Henderson-White Settlement intersection area, which will see plenty of construction in the years ahead.
"We have very loyal fans and customers," employee Kristoph Stewart said. "We're not worried about it."
Stewart said they are aware that the restaurant sits on prime real estate and have heard that several other nearby establishments will close as their land is sold off. It's unclear what will happen, but they plan on opening up somewhere else if they have to move.
"We'll see what's going to happen," he said.
The project was originally called Trinity Uptown and is also known as Central City by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Once bridge work starts, it'll take up to three and a half years to complete. The work on North Main should only take two and a half years. It should be noted that existing bridges along North Main and Henderson streets will not be affected, as new bridges are being added along the route.
For more information, visit the Panther Island website.