The bridge is back!

The West Seventh Street Bridge, a major thoroughfare between downtown Fort Worth and the West Seventh area, opened to traffic Oct. 9 after a brief parade of dignitaries. The old bridge, which spanned the river for 100 years, was demolished in June and traffic was re-routed around the area.

The new $25 million bridge, which has 12 signature arches, links downtown with west Fort Worth. It is structurally complete a month ahead of schedule. The bridge was built using precast concrete arches. The structure measures 981 feet long and 81 feet wide.

The bridge is scheduled to close again Nov. 15-16 for a party celebrating 100 years of a major river crossing at this spot. An estimated 12,000 vehicles a day use the bridge, and merchants and residents along the fledgling West Seventh corridor have been looking forward to the bridge’s completion. The bridge opening on Oct. 9 means it opened several days ahead of Sundt Construction Inc.’s 150-day project schedule. The San Antonio contractor’s contract calls for the firm to earn $30,000 for every day the project is completed ahead of schedule. A larger celebration is set for November.

– Robert Francis, Associated Press