Trail bridge construction over US 75 frontage road. Courtesy of TxDOT.

The good news: Construction crews will work over the weekend to connect Dallas’ vast trail system using a bridge over US 75. The bad news: The highway will be shut down in both directions between Royal Lane and Forest Lane, and traffic is likely to be snarled as drivers are diverted onto frontage roads and other alternate routes.

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Texas Department of Transportation officials advise drivers to avoid the area between 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. That’s when crews will resume work on the Northaven Trail Bridge Project, a 201-foot arched bridge which will span the gap between existing pedestrian and bicycle trails east and west of US 75.

The Northaven Trail runs west almost to I-35E and connects to both the White Rock Creek Trail and the Cottonwood Creek Trail on the east side of 75.

According to TxDOT, the trail connection will run about half a mile and cost $9.3 million to build. The bridge’s arch will be 50 feet high, with 32 cables on each side. The bridge’s weight of 800,000 pounds will be equal to that of 10 fully loaded semi-trucks or 80 elephants and be able to carry a weight of 445,000 pounds. The structure is known as a “network tied arch,” because the bridge deck ties the ends of the arch ribs together like the string in a bow used for archery, and the crisscrossing hanger cables form a network pattern. The bridge has a doubly-curved deck, making it the only network-tied arch bridge in the world with a doubly-curved tie.

Construction began in 2021 and is expected to be completed later this month.

Structural elements for the arch bridge. Courtesy of TxDOT.