West Seventh Bridge Work Started

Arches take shape off-site from bridge

After some construction delays, the long-awaited rebuilding of the West Seventh Street bridge is under way.

Over the next year the bridge, which connects the Cultural District and downtown, will see a lot of changes.

On any given afternoon, traffic on the West Seventh Street bridge can be slow going. With construction started on the new bridge an even slower pace is inevitably on the way, but one drivers won't experience for about another six months.

"Actual impact to motorists won't occur until February, after the Stock Show," said Val Lopez, Texas Department of Transportation spokesman. "At that point, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction."

The bulk of the work -- the construction of the bridge's archways and supports -- is happening just off-site, where the first few spans are already taking shape.

"There's a lot of activity going on in the casting yard; it's going on off-site," Lopez said. "Construction has started; it just hasn't impacted the bridge yet, directly."

The $24.1 million project was suppose to start last December, but the first contractor defaulted back in June. Now a company out of San Antonio is doing the work, which will include a complete closure of the bridge by next summer.

"And it will be open before the holiday, Christmas season next year," Lopez said. "We have incentives in the contract to urge the contractor to do that as quickly as possible."

It should take no more than 150 days to replace the structurally deficient, century-old bridge deck.

To make sure everyone is ready for the work, the Cultural District Alliance is holding an informational meeting about the bridge work next Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the third floor of Montgomery Plaza. The networking and informational session is for residents and businesses impacted by the lane reduction and closure.

For more information on the bridge, click here.

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