Bridge for bikers and pedestrians crossing US-75 opens in north Dallas
A unique addition to the Dallas skyline is open for business: The Northaven Trail Bridge, a new pedestrian bridge that crosses over US-75 just north of Royal Lane, opened on November 13, giving bicyclists, pedestrians, and joggers greater access to trails across the city.
The bridge is an extension of the Northhaven Trail, a biking and jogging trail in the Prestonwood neighborhood of North Dallas, which opened in 2012. The trail began with a two-mile section from Valleydale Drive to Preston Road. Over the years, more grants have extended the trail to 8.2 miles.
Friends of Northaven Trail, a neighborhood advocacy group, pushed for the bridge over US-75 to connect to trails on the east side of the freeway such as the Cottonwood Creek Trail and the White Rock Creek Trail. Previously, the only route for bicyclists or pedestrians was to veer off to a separate trail (at 11409 N. Central Expy. and Park Central Plaza) that goes underneath the highway.
The new bridge extends 200 feet across eight lanes of traffic, using no pylon supports, curving slightly, with off ramps winding downward in a loop. It is officially a bicycle and pedestrian bridge, but also used by runners.
The $9.3 million project was funded by the City of Dallas, Dallas County, and the Regional Transportation Council at the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
Bridge construction began in May 2021, while the bridge itself was built in spring 2022. According to Community Impact, it was assembled behind the Conn's Home Plus store at the northeast corner of US-75 and Royal Lane.
The bridge was installed over the freeway in one giant piece over the weekend of September 9-10, shutting down traffic; this time-lapse video shows the process.
The hope, says Jeff Kitner, president of the Friends of Northaven, is to eventually connect the west portion to the Trinity River levee trails, leading to Irving’s Campion Trail.
“At some point, the trail will run from White Rock Lake to Fort Worth,” he says of the course, which currently ends at Monroe Drive to the west.
The group is also trying to raise $60,000 for mural art that will grace the girders of the bridge.
“TxDOT has given us permission to paint those [girders] and we have commissioned an artist to do a wildflower theme,” Kitner says. The work will be done by Dallas artist Chera Brooker, whose work can be seen at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort, The Shops at Park Lane, and the Vidorra McKinney Avenue Apartments in Dallas.
Dallas being Dallas, the bridge has in its short lifespan already attracted an SUV who mistook it for a roadway and tried to drive on it.
Kitner says that there are bollards erected further along the bridge as well as signage, which the driver apparently overlooked.
"Some temorary barriers have been installed to prevent another driver from making that same mistake, and TxDOT and the city are working on what the solutions working on that right now," Kitner says.
A ribbon-cutting will take place at the bridge on December 2 at 9 am.