US 75/Northaven Trail Bridge in Dallas
The project involves constructing a connection between existing bicycle/pedestrian trails in Dallas across the US 75 (Central Expressway) corridor just north of Royal Lane. This new segment joins multiple regional trail connections together, including the Northaven Trail on the west side of US 75 directly to the Cottonwood Creek Trail and the White Rock Creek Trail on the east side. An arched bridge will span across the highway, providing a safe crossing for trail users.
The $9.3 million project was awarded to Ragle Construction, Inc. and work began in June 2021. The overall completion is expected in late summer 2023.
Building the arch
The signature piece of the project is the arch bridge spanning over north and southbound US 75 just north of Royal Lane. The arch is 201 feet long and the highest point towers 50 feet above the bridge deck with a network of 64 steel cables tying it to the deck.
As this structure is over a busy urban highway corridor which has roughly 250,000 vehicles daily, an innovative plan was developed to construct it with minimal disruption to traffic. This was achieved by pre-assembling the bridge deck, cable, and arch as a single structure just to the east of the highway, while the other elements like bridge columns and approaches were built in place at the highway.
When the structure is ready to move into place over the highway, specialized equipment will be used to lift the bridge from the assembly site and move it to the highway. From there, it will be carefully hoisted up and fit into place with the approaches.
This approach will necessitate a weekend closure and detour of the highway to adjacent frontage roads, as opposed to sustained highway lane closures over many months. This closure will be announced as it is scheduled.
- Project cost – $9.3 million
- Total trail connection length - .48 miles
- Overall arch length - 201 ft
- Height of the tallest point of arch on the bridge - 50 ft
- 64 cables (32 per side)
- The weight of the bridge structure is 800,000 pounds. This is equal to the weight of 10 fully loaded semi-trucks or 80 elephants.
- The bridge can carry a weight of 445,000 pounds, which is equal to the weight of 45 elephants or six fully loaded semi-trucks.
- The structure is called a “network tied arch.” The bridge deck ties the ends of the arch ribs together, just like the string in a bow used for archery, and the crisscrossing hanger cables form a network pattern.
- This structure has a doubly-curved deck, making it the only network-tied arch bridge in the world with a doubly-curved tie.
- Arch pieces and cables were manufactured by companies in the Houston area.