Calatrava bridge progress: It seems kind of boring

This is not a complaint about the soon-to-be world famous Calatrava bridge going up just west of Downtown. It’s merely an observation: I’m not sure if the bridge really makes as much of an impact on the city’s skyline as those who supported it said it would.

You can visit a live webcam monitoring the bridge’s progress (click on the “Trinity webcam” link on the left of the webpage), and you’ll see that it’s definitely taking shape. I noticed it a few weeks ago while driving to a Texas Rangers game west on I-30, and I asked both mayoral candidates about it during our recent in-studio discussion.

During the day, the bridge’s steel bands seem to be lost against a backdrop of industrial buildings and electric wires from the I-30 vantage point. I can imagine that with the right lighting, though, it could be a pretty spectacular image at night.

The question to Mike Rawlings and David Kunkle wasn’t whether the bridge was a good idea; that ship has clearly sailed. The question was whether the bridge was worth its cost and whether we need a “statement” bridge to justify Dallas being a good place to live and work.

This discussion was one of the few in this election where the differences between the candidates is pronounced.

Rawlings is an admittedly big-picture guy, and he said the bridge looks even better than he thought it would. He also said we need this type of project to keep pushing Dallas toward “world-class city” status.

Kunkle seemed underwhelmed by the bridge’s impact on the skyline so far, and he questioned whether any bridge was as important to a city’s makeup and success as simply concentrating on building stronger neighborhoods and taking care of the little things in city government.

Check out their answers on our video. The bridge commentary is 76 seconds into the video, if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing. And if you can, spend a few minutes watching the set of candidate videos to get a better feel for both men.


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  • Jake

    I kind of agree with you. It looks more like an arch with a blanket of cables rather than a bridge suspended by cables. Furthermore, if it only traverses a glorified ditch it will seem incompatible with the surroundings. The bridge will become the obvious symbol of Dallas’ reputation of being all style no substance.