Progress on a new bridge under construction across the Trinity River seems to come to a dead end in West Dallas.
The bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava will extend the Woodall Rodgers Freeway across the river to Singleton Boulevard in West Dallas.
Neighbors who see big construction of approach ramps on the Downtown Dallas side wonder why the bridge seems to stop before it reaches their side of the river.
“We’ve been watching, but they’re not doing anything close to us,” said Sunny Walia, owner of a new convenient store on Singleton Boulevard. “We’re just waiting for that bridge to come up there, and we’re hoping we can pick up some more business.”
Texas Department of Transportation spokewoman Cynthia White said utility relocation and right-of-way acquisition issues have blocked construction of the bridge approach in West Dallas.
“On a lot of projects, people are thinking that nothing is happening -- and to the naked eye, there’s not -- but these right-of-way issues, these utility issues, have to be resolved, and so there actually is progress,” she said.
White said TxDOT plans call for a new signal light intersection at the West Dallas end of the bridge as it crosses Beckley Avenue and meets Singleton Boulevard.
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Beckley, which runs parallel to the river, would be raised at that spot to the height of the river levee and the new intersection would be constructed over the levee.
The largest property owner around the intersection has amassed a large plot of land intended for high-density development of homes and businesses along the river.
West Dallas Investments said it is not upset about the bridge construction delay, because the company wants a change in the street design.
Butch McGregor with West Dallas Investments said the company would prefer to see Beckley moved several blocks west to free more land for riverfront development close to the bridge.
“If it opened tomorrow, it would be fantastic. We’re not going to complain. But nor are we going to complain that it is being delayed,” McGregor said. “It gives us more opportunity to get across the idea that we have.”
White said it is too late the change the road plans and that the bridge is still on schedule to open as planned next year.
“We’ll be happy,” Walia said. “Happy for us, happy for business, for our community over here.”