Six years after construction began on three bridges for the Panther Island project in Fort Worth, the third and final bridge is now open.
Fort Worth city leaders held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting Saturday at the Henderson Street Bridge, which officially opened to traffic in late September. It follows the White Settlement Bridge and the Main Street Bridge, which both opened earlier this year.
All three bridges cost $91 million. The Henderson Street bridge is 806 feet long, connecting downtown Fort Worth to the city’s northside. Doug Rademaker, a project manager for the Trinity River Vision Authority bridge program, said the bridges were initially scheduled to be open in 2018.
“We had some constructability issues that we worked through. These bridges are very complex in that they’re all cast-in-place bridges, where you actually are forming the concrete on the forms and pouring the concrete here, so there were a lot of technical issues to work through,” Rademaker said. “Ultimately, it all came together, and as you can see we have three beautiful completed bridges. Especially with a project of this amount of technical aspects to it, it’s not uncommon to have bridges to take a little longer.”
Located near the Henderson Street Bridge is Threads of Beauty, a beauty salon owned by Aylin Granado. The salon will celebrate its second anniversary in January. Granado said she looked forward to clients being able to find her business with ease now that construction is complete.
“Most of the time, they’re stuck in the trains. Most of the time, they’re stuck in traffic because of the train and stuff,” she said. “It’s been helpful. I’m glad it’s over, the construction.”
The three bridges are key parts of the $1.2 billion Panther Island flood control project, which is being overseen by the Tarrant Regional Water District and the Trinity River Vision Authority. In the original plan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would pay to re-route the Trinity River under the bridges.
“The infrastructure bills that are being talked about right now in the current administration could have some money for us. That’s part of what we need to advance forward,” Fort Worth District 2 City Councilmember Carlos Flores said. “It’s not all of it, but it’s an essential component for us to get to that next step done which is the bypass channels. So, approximately 65% of the bypass channel design has already been done.”