Commuters across Irving will soon have access to multiple lines of transportation with the installment of a signature bridge.
Construction of a signature bridge will open the gateway for development of more than 400 acres of prime real estate in the center of the Metroplex. Soon, Irving will connect commuters to a future-planned Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Rail station and more than 400 acres of developable land in the immediate vicinity of the State Highway 114, Loop 12 and State Highway 183 juncture.
The city has been planning this development for years, including laying the groundwork with TxDOT during the planning stages of the highway system in this area. Irving city officials are working with TxDOT as well as DART to ensure the final project incorporates the community’s vision. With the commitment of DART to facilitate the construction of a light rail station and TxDOT’s commitment to construct the bridge, Irving’s plans are coming to fruition.
From the onset of discussions, Irving wanted more than just a bridge. Voicing a vision for an iconic gateway to the city, stakeholders proposed a visible, aesthetically pleasing landmark that promoted pedestrian and motorist connectivity. For stakeholders, it’s critical for the bridge to provide vehicular access to the developable property as well as connectivity to the DART Rail to leverage the city’s investment into the regional mass transit system. After review of four concepts and analysis of input received from community leaders, property owners, city staff and the general public, the suspended canopy design exceeded the objectives expressed by stakeholders.
Early concepts of the bridge feature translucent canopies to protect pedestrians and motorists from the sun, heat and rain. In addition, the bridge features two 110-feet tall pylon towers from which a cable system will connect to a 500-plus-foot long truss that will span the freeway. The cable system will connect to the canopies to provide a unique look for the bridge.
The elevated structure also will feature pedestrian-friendly walkways as well as dedicated bicycle lanes on both sides. Benches and landscaping along the bridge will allow visitors to enjoy a prime view of the hustling and bustling city. Combined budget for the project hovers at $32 million. TxDOT will provide the funding for the base bridge, with Irving providing the funding for the signature elements. Officials from the city’s Economic Development Department believe investment in the bridge is needed to ensure the area is ready for future development.
The bridge’s design team includes Bridgefarmer and Associates, who completed the design concept originally conceived by the Huitt-Zollars/Sasaki team. Noted as the design firm behind Dallas’ Calatrava projects, Huitt-Zollars is no stranger to bridge building. City officials anticipate hiring a contractor in February 2016 and expect the project’s completion by late 2017.