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The City Will Shut Down the Continental Avenue Bridge Next Month to Turn it Into a Linear Park

Klyde Warren -- the park, not the kid -- was still just a twinkle in the city's eye when Mayor Tom Leppert unveiled plans to kick the cars off the Continental Avenue bridge and transform it into a linear park over the Trinity River. The original plan was to have the $10 million project open by fall 2012, about the same time the deck park would make its debut a couple of miles away.

But the Continental Avenue redo, like pretty much every other high-profile public works project that touches the Trinity, was delayed. And delayed. And delayed again. But city staff announced last week that work on the bridge will begin next month. For real this time.

See also A $10-Million Donation Turns Into a Love Story on the Continental Bridge Over the Trinity

Plans for the bridge have been scaled back somewhat since they were unveiled almost four years ago. Gone are the streetcars, futuristic shade tubes and lonely, Texas-loving drill team members. But there will be bocce courts, bike paths and shade structures. And a creepy unicycling clown that seems bent on mowing down crawling infants.

Of course start dates have been promised before only to evaporate as they approached. But with June only a month away and the City Council set to award an $8.35-million contract next week, this time seems for real. Unless, as Wilonsky noted on Saturday, the city discovers that the mussels that may be living beneath the piers are a threatened species. But they'll cross that bridge when they come to it.

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