Continental Bridge Renamed for Dallas’s First Black Mayor

Hundreds were on-hand to honor the man who helped bridge Dallas’s racial gap with a bridge of his own.

On Saturday morning, the Continental Avenue Bridge was rededicated as the Ambassador Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge.

Kirk, who turns 62 this month, was elected as the city’s first African American mayor in 1995.

During his time in office he pushed through several historic projects for the city, but also worked to bridge the racial divide that had long stood between old Dallas and new.

Our partners at The Dallas Morning News said in an article about Kirk that he did for blacks in Dallas what President Barack Obama did for African Americans nationwide.

Kirk would go on to serve the Obama Administration as US Trade Representative until stepping down in 2013.

Current city leaders said it was fitting that the iconic pedestrian bridge that unites two sides of the city was being named for Kirk.

According to city representatives, the bridge itself dates back to the 1930’s and was converted to a pedestrian bridge in the early 21st century. 

Kirk told the crowd, nearly 21 years to the day since he swore in as mayor of Dallas, that the community did this together.

"This bridge is for you," said Kirk. 

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