For over two years, cars have crept across the Hulen Street bridge, dealing with multiple lane closures at any given time. Come spring, that won’t be an issue anymore.
The new bridge sprawling across a rail yard and a future toll road will allow three lanes of traffic flow in each direction, North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) spokesman Michael Rey said. “There will be wider lanes,” Rey said, “and there’s a bike and pedestrian lane on the east side of the bridge.”
The building of the Chisholm Trail Parkway required the Hulen bridge to be raised to allow clearance for both the rail yard and the new toll road. Rey said there was nothing wrong with the 45-year-old bridge except for its height. The new bridge soars ten feet higher.
As of Sept. 27 last year, the new bridge opened, but only three lanes of traffic are able to get by. “While the bridge has been completed, we still need the western side to facilitate the demolishing of the old bridge,” Rey said.
Rey said the demolition couldn’t take place below the old bridge because the toll road isn’t complete and can’t support large equipment. Also, the rail yard is the 5th busiest in the nation, limiting the times demolition could take place.
Kent Garrison, a resident of the Orion Apartments on Hulen Street, is happy the construction is almost over. “It takes an extra five minutes to get home,” Garrison said. “I usually always try to avoid that area even though I live right by it.”
Calloway’s Nursery is located on the southern side of the bridge and is right in the middle of the construction, but Vice President John Cosby isn’t at all angry about it. He said the NTTA kept him well informed and did everything they said they would in a timely fashion. Cosby is excited for the construction to finish, albeit not for his own driving comfort. “Once the bridge is in, it’s going to improve our access and visibility,” Cosby said.
“Certainly it should be a much better bridge,” Rey said.
The construction runs under the authority of the NTTA, but Rey said the city of Fort Worth regains control of the bridge after the project is done. For more information on the Chisholm Trail Parkway or the Hulen Street bridge, call 817-916-5105.