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Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Will Receive a Big Opening


by Stephen Becker 14 Oct 2011

We’re T-minus four months and some change to the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, (a.k.a. the Calatrava Bridge) which will connect downtown Dallas with West Dallas. And plans are coming together quickly for a weekend-long celebration marking the occasion.

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Photo: Lyn Caudle

We’re T-minus four months and some change to the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, (a.k.a. the Calatrava Bridge) which will connect downtown Dallas with West Dallas. And plans are coming together quickly for a weekend-long celebration marking the occasion.

At an event earlier today, the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce announced the details for Bridge-o-Rama, which will be held March 2-4 and run concurrently with events planned by the Trinity Trust (more on that in a second).

“This bridge – the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge – is a great symbolic civic gesture to a part of the community that’s largely been ignored for a century,” said Randall White, vice-chair of the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce. “Our hope is that Bridge-o-Rama will provide visitors and residents an opportunity to come together – just like the bridge offers us the opportunity to do – and celebrate what the history and the future is about in West Dallas.”

Some of the details are still being filled in, but the plan is to hold eight events that focus on inviting new visitors to West Dallas while also honoring its past.

Among the events tapping into the area’s history are:

  • Parade of Giants, in which larger-than-life puppets created in the likeness of famous West Dallas residents (think Bonnie and Clyde and Judge Barefoot Sanders) will be paraded across the bridge and back
  • El Cemento, an exhibit that remembers West Dallas’ time as “Cement City” and the Mexican workers who had jobs there
  • Tejas Village, a Native American village that looks back at the Caddo tribe that once called the area home
  • Come Home, in which churches in the area will invite back former members to take part in a community-wide service

Looking toward the future will be:

  • World Music Stage, a concert that will be programmed by the Kessler Theater
  • Spread, an event designed to introduce foodies to the area’s high-end culinary options
  • Urban Emergence, a 90-minute seminar that will explain how West Dallas can soon be a neighborhood of the future
  • March West, a monthlong program that will offer discounts to local businesses

All of these events will be going on just on the other side of the bridge from a weekend’s worth of shindigs put on by the Trinity Trust. White says that the chamber worked closely with the Trinity Trust to make sure the events could co-exist. He says Bridge-o-Rama should be seen as “an exciting side show” to “Bridging the Trinity: For the Love of the City.”

Mayor Mike Rawlings, as well as his three immediate predecessors, will host a handful of events, including:

  • A dinner and fireworks show on the bridge
  • The 8th annual Trinity River Levee Run
  • A street fair (which will also include fireworks)
  • A sunrise blessing ceremony

If hanging out on the massive bridge sounds like fun, you’ll probably want to check it out on this party weekend. After that, it’s estimated that 42,000 vehicles a day will cross it.

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