The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is a very special project for me. Not only is it a signature component of the City of Dallas’ urban revitalization efforts, but it is also the first vehicular bridge I have built in the United States.
After I was commissioned to design the bridge, I toured Dallas and noticed that the Trinity River basin was littered with industrial buildings, electrical lines and proposed new toll roads. I saw this as a lost opportunity for the City, since the river basin had the potential to be of defining importance to Dallas’ future development. The image below of my initial Master plan model dates to my first involvement with the City’s rejuvenation project in 1999. My concept of linking the City’s two river banks by a series of dramatic bridges and boardwalks across a flooded lakeside environment, sought to revitalize this under-used resource in the heart of the city, and create a recreational facility as important to Dallas as Central Park is to New York City.
The opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge marks a mighty leap towards realizing this goal. The bridge is an aesthetically stunning structure that serves as a new icon for the city’s skyline. Since the arched pylon rose out of the ground in 2010, the bridge has become a landmark for Dallas. The symbolic nature of the bridge focuses attention onto the river and its environs, and will act to spur further development of the basin. The large clear span bridge will stand center-stage reflected in the man-made lake of the flooded river basin below.
The bridge is a “cable stayed” typology, reinvented by introducing an arched pylon from which cables are dynamically arrayed to support the steel framed highway deck below. The Arch is constructed from precision-engineered steel tube sections stacked one on top of the other and welded in place.
The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is the first of a series of bridges designed by my office to span the Trinity River in downtown Dallas, Texas. Work continues on the design of a new sister bridge further along the Basin as part of the scheme for replacement of the Interstate Highway (IH) 30.