Fort Worth is about ready to start on what may well be a spectacular grand entrance to the downtown and Sundance Square with the replacement of the 100 year old West 7th Street bridge or viaduct. There is considerable speculation and excitement about connecting the revitalized 7th Street and Camp Bowie areas with what may well be an architectural showpiece.
|1907 Official Fort Worth Map - Clear Fork- 7th Street Clip <Click to enlarge>|
|10-07-1899 FW Morning Register - City Council Meeting|
Things dawdled along and the Van Zandt bridge became more of a bottleneck. Still, the ownership question wasn't settled. The Star-Telegram had a long but whimsical summary of the situation in a 1907 article:
|06-27-1907 Fort Worth Star Telegram|
By 1911 the 7th Street bridge and the old North Main "Iron" bridge that had been built in the early 1890's were both becoming an issue. The Fort Worth city fathers, Tarrant County and the businessmen and citizens were getting in a mood to finally spend some money. In 1911 this rendering was floated out for consideration:
|04-16-1911 Fort Worth Star Telegram <Click to enlarge>|
|Draft Plan - 08-14-1912 Fort Worth Star Telegram - <Click to enlarge>|
Late in 1913, construction was finished and the new West 7th Street bridge which was wider and longer and stronger and built to resist the Clear Fork floods was done. It looked pretty much like the draft plan:
In the spirit of both parsimony and conservation, the old bridge, which does not seem to have ever had a picture or drawing published, was toted off and apparently used elsewhere on the Clear Fork.
The graceful and practical bridge aged well. The river bed was changed under it several times and additions were made to accommodate all that, but it carried the pedestrians, the wagons, the buggy's, the streetcars, the cars, the buses, the trucks and everything else until its time was up. A hundred+ years of good service.
We can only hope that the new bridge will do as well..