In December of last year, the city of Dallas put out the call: Design firm needed to draw up pedestrian and bicycle enhancements for the Cedar Crest Bridge over the Trinity River. In May, the Trinity River Corridor Project Committee was told that 13 firms had stepped forward with proposals for the project, which had been expanded to allow for "vehicular access to the floodway and pedestrian and bicycle connections to Moore Park" and which is being funded with $5.3 million, about half of which comes from the '98 Trinity Parkway bonds. One month later, the council signed off on a deal to pay Halff Associates $550,000 for the engineering design.
But, funny thing: This morning, Jason Roberts posted to Better Block a heads-up that come October 22, for a few hours at least, that very same stretch of bridge will be converted into hike-and-bike destination -- just ... like ... that. Well, like this, actually:
Two auto lanes of the Cedar Crest Bridge (which connects South Dallas to East Oak Cliff) will be converted into a large pedestrian and bike esplanade complete with landscaping, seating, historical markers, and more. The project is being developed to test the potential to permanently readapt the bridge and create a destination which links both sides of the river, while providing access to the Trinity Trail.
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Brent Brown of the City Hall-based CityDesign Studio, which is also involved in the bridge transformation, says this morning that the design for the makeover's "coming along great."
He adds that the public will actually get to look at Halff's renderings during the October 22 "Better Bridge" event, which is part of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff's "History Ride of Ray Charles' South Dallas" and Go Oak Cliff's Second Annual Blues, Bandits and BBQ wingding.
"I've seen some glimpses of" Halff's design, says Brown, "and I think it'll be a great bridge connecting our city across the river." The Better Block event won't be "mimicking the design," he says, "just creating an experience."
From the sound of it, both Halff and Better Block are planning on using that divider to split the bridge in half: On one side will be the cars; on the other, cyclists and pedestrians. "It'll be a public experience built around public input," says Brown. "Between this and Moore Park and the Santa Fe Trestle, this is becoming a nice collection of investments in a part of the city not well invested in historically."