First Arch of Margaret McDermott Bridge Completed Saturday Morning

By Frank Heinz

The final piece of the first of two steel arches that will make up the Margaret McDermott Bridge was raised into place early Saturday morning, officials say.

It took several hours to raise the piece into place alongside the eastbound lanes of Interstate 30. Installation began at about midnight.

Traffic on I-30 was not impacted by the construction, however the nearby Houston Street Viaduct was closed from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. to allow members of the media to photograph the event.

The segments that make up each arch were fabricated in Tampa, Florida in 78 sections, some of which are up to 60-feet-long. Because of the fluid design, no two pieces are identical. And they must join together perfectly.

When completed, the arches stand 328 feet tall and stretch 1,311 feet.

The Margaret McDermott Bridge is part of a large-scale upgrade to the Dallas Horseshoe Project, which is upgrading bridges on I-30 and Interstate 35E that cross the Trinity River as well as connecting roadways near downtown Dallas.

The $113 million project was designed by Spanish/Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the nearby Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

"It's been a long process of getting the roadway in there and the arch in place. That's what they've been doing over a period of time, is lifting these big sections of steel to create that arch," said Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleiman, of District 11.

The arch on the westbound side will be complete at end of 2016, and the entire Margaret McDermott Bridge, which will support hike and bike trails on each side of I-30, is scheduled to be finished by summer 2017.

"This bridge is going to give bike access, pedestrian access as well car access from downtown Oak Cliff. It really means a lot to the city," Kleiman said.

Time lapse Eastbound arch

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