Fort Worth celebrates opening of West 7th Street Bridge - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Fort Worth celebrates opening of West 7th Street Bridge

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FORT WORTH -

The new West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth was shut down Friday night so the city could celebrate its grand opening and lighting, complete with caterers and a concert.

The bridge will soon be open for good, making it much easier for Fort Worth drivers to get between downtown and the cultural district.

It opened to cars a month ago, but as of Saturday, it will be open for good.

The bridge took years to plan and four months to build, but it came in ahead of schedule and under budget.

While it opened Oct. 9, walkers and cyclists had to wait until the pedestrian bridge was done.

The $26 million bridge is almost a 1,000 feet long and four lanes across.

Like any major construction project, shutting down an east-west thoroughfare for four months caused some commuter headaches, but some feel that it was worth the wait.

Beatriz Herrera documented the bridge's completion from her window inside the adjacent Cash America building.

"This is going to make things much easier for me going from the west side to downtown," she said.

All of the stainless steel inside and outside the bridge was made by a small company in Richland Hills.

The four lanes of traffic and pedestrian bridge replace a century-old, tired structure city leaders knew needed a facelift.

Mayor Betsy Price, an avid cyclist, is looking forward to her first ride across.

"I think the community as a whole is just thrilled with it," she said. "The other bridge had gotten very congested, and it had no capacity to cross on a bike or as a pedestrian unless you crossed with traffic with the cars, and now to have separate lanes allows people to go from downtown to the west side and to the museums and back."

A public festival goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with a parade at 10:30 a.m.

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