FORT WORTH, Texas -- Work crews finished installing the final span of a pedestrian bridge across the Trinity River that will link the Mistletoe Heights neighborhood to the Trinity Trails system.
About 30,000-pound spans were hoisted with a crane and lowered onto supports. The bridge crosses the river just south of I-30, near an existing bridge for the miniature railroad that runs through Trinity Park.
City officials say the bridge still needs to be surfaced with concrete and connected to the trails, but it should open for public use by August 2017.
It is the most visible part of a large $7 million project to link neighborhoods in five different locations to the Trinity Trails. Funding was provided in large part by a federal grant, in addition to local funds and private donations from Streams & Valleys Inc.
The popular trail system that snakes through downtown along the river is also a boon for development, with new restaurants, stores and offices opening in areas like WestBend and Clearfork.
"This bridge will provide people the opportunity to bike from work, make that neighborhood connection," said David Creek, assistant director of Fort Worth's Parks and Recreation Department.
The bridge also answers some safety concerns. Pedestrian bridges have been installed following a number of drowning incidences in this part of the Trinity, including in January 2013 when a woman attempted to cross a dam and fell into the water. Many Mistletoe Heights residents also cross using the existing miniature railroad bridge, which is not designed for pedestrians.
"This is a much safer mode of transportation to access the trail," said Creek.