West Dallas neighborhood celebrates bridge and finally being dry

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM

DALLAS -- The Margaret Hunt Hill bridge is bringing new traffic and new promise to west Dallas neighborhoods north of Singleton Boulevard.

While residents are looking forward to the opportunity in the future they are also looking forward to one major improvement that is happening almost in tandem with the bridge.

The La Bajada neighborhood in west Dallas lies in the shadow of the new bridge nestled against the west levee of the Trinity River.

This heavily Hispanic working class community looks forward to the promise of new development, retail and rising property values in the years ahead. There is immediate relief to long time homeowners, like Leonardo Luciano, is from the risk of rising water.

"Ohhhh man, terrible,” said Luciano. “You know, everybody is scared."

For years, Luciano and his neighbors have lived in fear every time there’s a heavy rain.

In a big 2006 storm and another in 2009, runoff drained to culverts and sump basins as designed for pumping into the river by the Pavaho pump station.

But the two old pumps inside couldn't keep up and water backed into neighborhoods.

With $38 millions in bond money, the city is building a new Pavaho pump station.

"I know this community that you know when it rains they're concerned are we going to be able to keep up with our pumping and so this gives us the ability to keep up and I think gives them the comfort that they're being taken care of," said Kelly High, director of the City of Dallas Trinity Watershed Management office.

The new station can pump 375,000 gallons per minute, fast enough to fill an Olympic size pool in less than two minutes.

The city said when the job is complete 1,000 homes in La Bajada will no longer face the risk of flooding.

Luciano looks forward to soon sleeping when it rains at night.

"More better now,” he said. “I think everybody enjoys the progress."

The new Pavaho pump station should be done by late this summer.

Some of the people in west Dallas like the symmetry between the pump station and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge with the Pavaho pumping water into the Trinity that'll flow under the bridge.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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