The first European to see the Trinity River was the French explorer La Salle in 1687. According to the journal kept by his lieutenant, Henri Joutel, La Salle’s men “cut down trees to make a sort of bridge . . . to pass over” the river. These days we build bridges of concrete and steel to pass over the Trinity. In fact, the river is about to get three new bridges.
The Clearfork Main Street Bridge in southwest Fort Worth will connect Hulen Street with the planned Clearfork “urban village” on the old Edwards Ranch. The bridge will have four lanes for vehicular traffic and a separate lane for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Phyllis Tilley Memorial Bridge (for pedestrians and cyclists only) just south of the West Lancaster Street Bridge (1939) will connect Trinity Park with west downtown.
The West 7th Street Bridge (1913 and 1953) will be rebuilt. This arch on the east end of the old bridge is where the river ran before the channel was straightened in 1953 after the 1949 flood. According to the city, the old bridge is 982 feet long, the new bridge will be 981 feet long. Let’s hope that one-foot savings doesn’t come out of the middle.