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Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Trinity River, Dallas

Wednesday 22 Feb 2012

Calatrava completes Dallas bridge

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Trinity River, Dallas
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Trinity River, Dallas Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Trinity River, Dallas Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge by Santiago Calatrava in Trinity River, Dallas
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28/02/12 Lee Candler Young, Richardson TX
The up-close photographs of this bridge are indeed dramatic, but when seen from a distance the arch itself appears to be quite poorly proportioned and the arch's heft is completely out of scale with the cables. It's truly the "Paper Clip on the Prairie" . And the final cost for the project is just now beginning to be revealed -- well over 50% higher than originally announced. I love most of Calatrava's work, but this design looks like it was cranked out over a holiday weekend by a junior employee. I have to wonder if Santiago had some on-going grudge against Dallas to slip this by a city whose citizens apparently were enamoured of his star reputation and overlooked what they were actually getting.

Lee Candler Young - AIA
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Dramatic white arch marks Dallas skyline 

Already an icon, the gleaming 400ft white arch of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the first steel bridge across the Trinity River in Dallas, will officially open March 4, 2012.

Designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, the bridge will connect West Dallas to the downtown Dallas and points beyond and does so with panache. But a lot more is riding on the bridge than six lanes of traffic and a gleaming new image for the city.

It is hoped the bridge will be a vital piece in the revitalization of West Dallas, a neighborhood of abandoned factories and rusting warehouses that for years was a toxic dumping ground for the far better-off city across the water of such proportions that it earned the unenviable ranking as one of the top Superfund sites in the world.

Plans for a new urbanism style remake is underway for the district but time will tell if the area can be resuscitated, at which point the $117m bridge will go down in history as either West Dallas’s savior or the bridge to nowhere.

But for now, it’s all happy talk as the city prepares to celebrate this striking new image on Dallas’ skyline that draws comparison to Saarinen’s Gateway arch in St. Louis. The arch itself, which consists of 25 steel segments, anchors the cable stayed portion of the bridge with 58 cables ranging in size from four to eight inches in diameter. Each cable attached to the arch is secured back down into the center spine of the bridge bed itself, thus holding itself in suspension.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is Calatrava’s first vehicular bridge to be built in the United States.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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