TxDOT Says Despite Recent Rains, They're Still Hoping to Open the Calatrava to Cars March 5

Categories: Transportation


Speaking of putting cars on bridges over the Trinity River, or not ...

Couldn't quite tell from last night's Channel 8 piece if the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge will indeed be open to vehicular traffic following next weekend's opening events; said Jason Whitely, there's a shot it'll be closer to mid-March, given some construction delays. So I asked TxDOT spokeswoman Cynthia Northrop White to clarify this morning, and she says, yes, recent rains have slowed some end-of-work progress, but they're "still expecting" to open the bridge to West Dallas to cars on March 5. I know Schutze, for one, will be relieved.

"We have had some rain, so we're pressing the contractor to make up the time," she says. "We're on top of the situation on a minute-ly basis and will reassess it next week and have a clearer picture. Next week they are forecasting some rain, but they're working nights and weekends, and we hope to get it done by then. We get that rain next week, it could impact that schedule. That's why early in the week we want to reassess where we've gotten. But the goal is to open it to traffic on March 5.

"Full disclosure is trying to define for folks the difference between a job that's complete and substantially complete. There are still some finishing touches, things that have to be done. This happens all the time. There's landscaping, we have to finish out some inspections, do some striping, some buttons -- little things that need to be finished. But we're working towards March 5. Even considering the variables, the rain, we're making up a lot of good time."

Till then, I direct your attention to the video posted a couple of days back by the same Friend of Unfair Park responsible for one of the best blogs in town, Dallas Trinity Trails.

Update at 4:10 p.m.: See the above item, which says, long story short: "The City will open the bridge when all components are fully functioning in a safe manner. The opening date is anticipated to be March 29, 2012."
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23 comments
scottindallas
scottindallas

 ...and they got the story off the outsized price tag for this gaudy bridge. 

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

"We have had some rain, so we're pressing the contractor to make up the time," (TxDOT spokeswoman Cynthia Northrop White) says.

This, after one of the driest years in the City's history.

NewsDog
NewsDog

Landscaping? I thought The City said it couldn't afford landscaping anymore and Tx DoT decided to let it all die. Why does this sound like a dodge?

Ben
Ben

I was told third hand yesterday that going out on the bridge is technically trespassing for the time being, since it's an "active construction zone". So...be aware of that if you want to visit. Even though trespass signs are not posted, it's now listed as an enumerated street etc. The only thing "working" on the bridge that night were a couple coyotes on the southern apron where it meets the levee. If humans are "working around the clock" to finish, they surely were not the other night.

We noticed how excited people were peeling off the Continental Street Bridge, jumping out of their cars and fast walking out as far as they dared on the bridge. Like watching people racing towards the front of a roller coaster line at Six Flags. Neat to see people get excited about something, for once.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Our typical winters are much wetter than this past one. That variable has already been in the contractor's favor. 

Smoke blowing. Always a constant, never a variable.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

seriously, if something isnt done on the 30 bridge over the trinity, Im going ot have to exit beckly to avoid needing new rims and tires on my car.  That expansion joint crack is so wide, my teeth chattered this morning going over the bridge

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

I'm not sure sure how to read these responses from TxDOT spokeswoman Cynthia Northrop White.

I'm still trying to understand what she means by the word "minutely", how she's reassessing where "we've gotten" and reading between the lines of someone who feels its necessary to try and explain the difference between a job "complete and substantially complete."

Why oh why is this whole Calatrava/Trinity Toll Road stuff so hard to understand Jim S.?

Nick R.
Nick R.

Be funny if the decision to open March 5 was because of Radiohead's arrival

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Really the last month has been hell on us dirt workers.  It's been a wet Winter, 6" above average since Dec.  And, the rain has left soils saturated and difficult to work.  I'm even having trouble today working soil that is still all gummed up.  Soil moisture is very high right now.  (That's the real challenge of gardening in TX.  We have persistently wet clay soils for months at a time, and bone dry conditions for months at a time.  Few plants handle both well.  Few plants handle freezes, our heat, and our heavy soils that get so wet and so dry.)  Today was the first day where everything dried out, yesterday's lovely afternoon notwithstanding.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

 Funny that the largest construction project in the country,the DFW Connector, is so far ahead in their schedule that they are now looking at completion next fall.  Prime factor? Unusual lack of bad weather.

RTGolden
RTGolden

'working around the clock'.  Maybe they mean there will be a clock on the bridge, and people will be working in that area of the bridge.......??

scottindallas
scottindallas

 While it's been mild, we're actually have a top ten wettest Winter of all time.  You know, La Nina's always meant a wet mild winter except for this year of "DROUGHT!!!"  Hyperbole trumps common knowledge and everyone runs with it, as that where the headline is, and where the "hook" is.

Anon
Anon

you must wait until the funding for a signature bridge is found in one of Tom L's buckets of money.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Well, all I can say is, to clarify, when she said "minutely," she meant "meant by minute," not "into very small pieces."

Arpeggi
Arpeggi

bridge over weird fishes

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

So why can't we have politicians doing this work?  They are already oh so proficient at slinging mud......

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I believe the NTTA cited that as one of the reasons they were able to open the DNT/121 interchange early also.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Okay, you're right. We've had mild weather, and major rains that have made it wet. But, without any actual research on my part, I do believe this winter has had more dry days than is common.

Gabe
Gabe

Does she count the life span of the bridge decadely?

Nick R.
Nick R.

Women and children first

scottindallas
scottindallas

 all true save the last month.  Dirt work has been tough going.  A well drained highway project might not present the same challenges, as drainage would be roughed in by now.  But, I bet those river bottoms are pretty sloppy for a week after filling up for a day or more.

Nick R.
Nick R.

Hell is other seasons

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Our dryer weeks have seemed to been holiday weeks, which is good for most, but not for those of us who what dry productive times.  It's really been frustrating, kinda reminds me of Sartre's "No Exit" 

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