Real Estate

And Don't Forget the New Sylvan Ave. Bridge

Sam's bringing bagels and coffee to this morning's meeting of the Trinity River Corridor Project Committee; he's got questions, many questions, specifically about the second Calatrava bridge that was all but dead a month ago till, well, it wasn't no more. There's another bridge on the agenda -- the Sylvan Avenue bridge, which is about to get high, everybody, get high. Shame too, since driving that rickety roller-coaster, per TxDOT's fair-to-poor-in-places rating, really is the third-most fun thing you can do between the levees.

Anyhow. The bridge redo, complete with a 14-foot-wide hike-n-bike path, was supposed to have been done by now, according to the October 21, 2008, briefing Schutze keeps under his pillow: "Needs to be ahead of Trinity Parkway, which begins construction mid-2010." Then it disappeared for a good long while, till making its don't-call-it-a-comeback last fall, at which time the council notified folks that as soon as construction on the redo commences, say adios to Sylvan Avenue, Trammell Crow Park and the Sylvan Boat Ramp till the deed's done (late 2012, at the earliest, but more than likely early '13).

A few things to note in Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan's new update to the council: The $48-million price tag in 2008 is now "approximately $40M," and they've got to begin work on the project quite pronto, as a matter of fact: Oncor has to move power lines, and "we would expect construction activities to initiate in the floodway almost immediately with the installation of the drilled shafts for the new bridge foundations," Jordan writes. "The existing boat ramp will be relocated to the opposite end of the parking lot to avoid conflict the with the new bridge piers."

And, I know: You're wondering how this bridge is being funded. Well: About $9.3 million come from '03 and '06 bond money; $19 mil from TxDOT; and, per the '09 update, "an additional $15.5 million in federal funds and an additional $10.56 million in Regional Tollway Revenue funds were received as a result of appropriations received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." That's more than $54 million, if my math is right, and it probably isn't. If it were real money. And Schutze says it isn't.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky