Large sections of the steel support for a Woodall Rodgers Freeway extension across the Trinity River are at the construction site.
The old Continental Viaduct beside the new bridge will be closed Saturday as work proceeds.
“That just means that we’re getting closer to having a lot more people around here, a lot more customers,” said Camelia Walia.
She and her husband own a convenient store on Singleton Boulevard, which has just been widened to handle bridge traffic arriving from downtown in West Dallas.
“And I figure I’m the only convenient store around here so that’s going to be really good for me,” Walia said.
Supporters believe the new suspension span with a sweeping design by famous architect Santiago Calatrava will become a new signature element for the Dallas skyline.
“I’m real excited about the road being built, because that would make it easy to get around,” said West Dallas driver Calvin Jackson.
Investors have purchase old industrial property along the Trinity River in West Dallas. The Texas Legislature this year approved a method that will help finance redevelopment of the area. Plans call for a mixed-use neighborhood of new stores, restaurants and high-density residential construction.
“It’s just a matter of how long it’s going to take to do it,” said property owner John McNeill.
He still owns the commercial structure his father first built in 1947. But McNeill said he will sell to developers when the time is right.
“Financing right now is difficult, but everything always turns around,” he said.
Levee safety questions could temporarily make the new span a bridge to nowhere.
Construction of bridge connections across the levees has been delayed for at least a year. That could extend after the planned bridge completion date of mid 2010 which is listed in a city website: http://www.trinityrivercorridor.org/html/trinity_bridges.html