New pedestrian bridge across Trinity connects more than two roadways

Posted Friday, Sep. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A newly dedicated bridge in Fort Worth does more than span the Trinity River, connecting Hulen Street with Bryant Irvin Road and providing a gateway to a storied ranchland site primed for major development.

The Clearfork Main Street Pedestrian Bridge, open and formally celebrated Thursday, also spans a period of time, connecting a group of visionaries from more than 40 years ago who were dedicated to redeveloping the river with a new generation of Fort Worthians who actively run, hike and bike the trails along the rejuvenated Trinity.

Suspended from the recently completed four-lane vehicular Clearfork Main Street Bridge, the unique $9.7 million pedestrian way is 410 feet long and 12 feet wide, and it includes two pedestrian plazas with shaded break areas and large public art pieces on each end.

Like the Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Bridge dedicated last year near the West Lancaster Avenue bridge, the Clearfork Main Street Pedestrian Bridge connects with trails on either side and already is a hit with those who use both bridges for recreation, exercise and as routes for alternative means of transportation.

In addition to providing an aesthetic complement to the 165-year-old Edwards Ranch acreage, the new bridges allow much-needed access to the 270-acre Clearfork development portion of the property.

With the new Chisholm Trail Parkway scheduled to open sometime next year, construction in the area is expected to boom.

A $140 million medical center is under construction on the property, and additional developers’ plans call for 2,500 multifamily units, 2 million square feet of office space and more than 1 million square feet for restaurants and shops.

When that forward-looking group of dreamers got together in 1969 to “do something about ‘the Ditch’” that was the Trinity River then, their initial efforts focused on planting trees along the banks, cleaning up the trash and convincing Fort Worth businesses to face the river rather than continue to turn their backs to it.

More than 8,000 trees and 40 miles of river trails have been added since then, and each year thousands of residents are drawn to the Trinity for private family activities, major public events and festivals.

The new bridge is symbolic of that connectivity.

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