Screenshot via Friends of Northaven Trail.

A groundbreaking over the weekend marked a significant step for the Northaven Trail Pedestrian Bridge, which will give pedestrians and bikers a safe path over US 75 North Central Expressway between Northaven Trail and White Rock Creek Trail.

Expected to open in 2023, the bridge and trail expansion will not only offer a straight shot to White Rock Lake for those traveling from the western side of the central expressway but will also connect to a patchwork of other trails, offering access to nearly any part of the city.

Photos courtesy of Jeff Kitner.

About 300 people showed up to the event, held May 8 at 11231 N. Central Expressway.

The groundbreaking ceremony included speeches by District 11 City Councilman Lee Kleinman, who was also the master of ceremonies; Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson; Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Robie Vaughn; county commissioners Theresa Daniel and J.J. Koch; District 13 City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates; Park Board President and District 13 Representative Calvert Collins-Bratton; and District 11 Park Board Representative and Friends of Northaven Trail President Jeff Kitner.

“We were thrilled to break ground on the Northaven Trail bridge this weekend,” Kitner says. “It was wonderful to see so many friends and trail supporters as we get started on this project, which will significantly enhance pedestrian and bicycle connectivity for our city.”

Current and former members of the Friends of the Northaven Trail board were among the attendees, and anyone who wanted to take a photo shoveling dirt was able to do so.

The bridge has been in the works since the mid-2010s and is a collaboration between the city of Dallas, Dallas County, TxDOT, the North Central Texas Council of Governments and friends of the Northaven Trail.

Officials at TXDOT approved construction of the bridge in late February and early March.

Designs for the bridge were drafted in 2017 after land was purchased for the build earlier that year. The project will cost a little more than $9 million, according to February estimates from TxDOT.