Dallas' First Calatrava Bridge

Staff | September 28, 2010

Architect's rendering of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava courtesy of the city of Dallas.

Williams Bros. Construction Co. Inc. has begun building the first Calatrava "signature bridge" across the Trinity River in Dallas. The city of Dallas commissioned renowned architect Santiago Calatrava to design three distinctive bridges for the Trinity River Corridor project.

This first bridge will create an extension of the Woodall Rogers Freeway/Spur 366 and will be known as the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. The Hunt Petroleum Company of Dallas, which donated $12 million to the Trinity River Corridor Project, was granted the naming rights to the Woodall Rodgers Extension Bridge, and doing so honored of the matriarch of the Hunt family.

Although the ceremonial ground-breaking for the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge was held in December 2005, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in charge of construction, did not let the $69.67-million project until October 2006. The estimated completion date is July 2009.

The bridge's center arch will be the height of a 40-story building, approximately 400 feet tall, with a 1,202-foot cable-stayed bridge span.

"The 1,202-foot-long 'signature' bridge will be fairly centered between the levees but not over the main channel of the Trinity River," explained TxDOT project engineer Enrique Guillen, P.E. "Because the signature bridge will not reach to the levees, standard TxDOT U-beam bridges will extend from the ends of the signature bridge to the levees for a total of 1,957 feet."

The first phase of construction has the Williams Bros. crew under the project management of William (Bill) Doreen drilling 32 54-inch drill shafts in box patterns about 90 feet deep into the river floodplain for piers to support foundation caps. The signature pedestals will rise from these foundation caps.

Other projects that are a part of the Trinity River Corridor include two other Santiago Calatrava signature bridges; a chain of wetlands; a greenbelt with hiking trails; parks; soccer complex; the Great Trinity Forest; and the Trinity Parkway.

The construction of the Trinity Parkway reliever route with improvements to the IH-30/IH-35E mixmaster area are proposed to be completed on an accelerated 15-year schedule. The work includes main lane and frontage road improvements, direct connections between IH-30 and IH-35E, and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Early design will begin in 2007, with construction potentially starting in 2008 and completion in 2013.