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West Seventh Street Bridge could open in early OctoberSeptember 23, 2013
Photo by Alyson Peyton Perkins
A. Lee Graham
The West Seventh Street Bridge could open in early October, bringing relief for motorists and a hefty bonus for the project contractor.
“The bridge should be open, weather permitting, the first week of October,” said Val Lopez, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman.
That would mean opening 35 days ahead of Sundt Construction Inc.’s 150-day project schedule. With the San Antonio contractor earning $30,000 for every day the project is completed ahead of schedule, that would total $990,000 if work is complete by Oct. 1.
“They’re beating the schedule,” Lopez said.
Since the bridge closed to traffic on Friday June 7, motorists have used alternate routes in and out of the area, including Lancaster Avenue and White Settlement Road. The new bridge will restore a direct conduit between downtown and the Cultural District.
When complete, the structure will be a stark contrast to the original bridge built in 1913. Featuring six arch spans across the Trinity River, the new structure also will have much wider sidewalks for pedestrians. But those may not be ready when the bridge opens to traffic.
“It will be open shortly, but that doesn’t mean construction is complete,” Lopez said. “There’s still landscaping, paneling and pedestrian elements that still need to be complete.”
Those should be done by early November, Lopez said.
TxDOT designed the structure with six arch spans across the Trinity River to improve safety and pedestrian-bicycle access.