Moving day for Northaven Trail bridge in Dallas
By Tony Hartzel
DALLAS - North Texas’ newest pedestrian bridge has moved into its permanent home.
Yes, moved – as in putting a 201-foot-long, 50-foot-tall arch on industrial strength trailers and shouldering it several hundred feet. Then, lifting the 800,000-pound behemoth from both ends with special hydraulic jacks and gantries, which then ease the span onto its new home over US 75/North Central Expressway in Dallas.
Oh, and do it all in about 20 hours.
Simple, right? Not so much.
TxDOT Dallas crews and contractor Ragle, Inc. made the seemingly impossible happen overnight one weekend when they moved the new Northaven Trail Bridge onto columns beside the mainlanes of North Central Expressway near Royal Lane.
The end result is a gleaming addition to the North Dallas skyline that will forever grace the commutes for tens of thousands of motorists. The Northaven Trail Bridge will also directly serve a growing contingent of bicyclists, pedestrians and others who have longed for a new, safer connection from the Northaven Trail in North Dallas to the Cottonwood and White Rock Creek trails in Northeast Dallas.
“This was a unique project in many ways,” TxDOT Dallas County Area Engineer and project manager Nathan Petter said. “It took a lot of ingenuity from TxDOT, Ragle and the designer, HNTB, to make this move effort a reality. The vision started with our regional partners at the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), as well as leaders at the City of Dallas and Dallas County. I’m proud to have played a role in making this a reality.”
The project was jointly funded by the City of Dallas, Dallas County and the Regional Transportation Council at NCTCOG.
Because the bridge was designed to be supported by cables from above, it did not require support columns in the middle of the highway. While that made construction and installation more challenging, the contractor came up with a plan to piece together the network tied arch bridge behind a nearby shopping center building and then move it into place. The bridge, which was designed with two curves, is said to be the first doubly-curved, network-tied arch bridge in the world.
The end result is a bridge that will serve as a reminder of the hard work of TxDOT and its partners.
The final bridge and trail connections are expected to open in fall 2023.