Tuesday, March 6, 2012
On the Bridge
On Saturday we availed ourselves of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk on the pristine new Margaret Hunt Hill bridge, even caught a glimpse of its designer, Santiago Calatrava. In fact, we spent several hours walking on the bridge as volunteers for the Trinity Trust during the bridge celebration street fair.
There's been a whole lotta hoopla here in Dallas about the intended-to-be-iconic bridge and what it will do for the city, specifically opening up and revitalizing West Dallas (a defined area just across the river from downtown). All very interesting.
But what is even more interesting to us is the area underneath the bridge, where flows the neglected and much-maligned Trinity River. (That's it, off to the far right of the picture below, with the banks and levees freshly carpeted in spring greenery.)
The plan is to transform all that idle floodplain, 20 miles of it snaking through the city, into a natural and recreational showpiece, with lakes, a promenade, plaza, amphitheaters, recreational fields, hike and bike trails, wetlands. (Oh yes, and a toll road. We'll just ignore that for the moment.) Those idyllic landscape renderings of things to come certainly elicit enthusiasm. Could this really be Dallas, with a waterfront?