Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge; Dallas, Texas
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Tygress
N 32° 46.774 W 096° 49.333
14S E 703963 N 3628949
Quick Description: TexASCE OCEA 2012: The iconic Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is a triumph of aesthetics and engineering; literally and figuratively joining West Dallas to downtown, and becoming an instant landmark.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 6/14/2014 1:54:49 PM
Waymark Code: WMKYD7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member QuesterMark
Views: 12

Long Description:
One of the many Texas Engineering Landmarks in celebration of Texas ASCE’s Centennial: 1913-2013 “Engineering a Better Texas.” Visit them all!


“The bridge has become an instant landmark for Dallas. It’s in every car dealer’s ad now,” says Gail Thomas, director of the Trinity Trust in Dallas, which commissioned the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge over the Trinity River in 2007. The city was so pleased with its new icon it has commissioned a second larger bridge as part of a highway extension. – New York Daily News (

The Margaret Hunt Hill (MHH) Bridge was designed as part of a broader collaborative development project, between the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the City of Dallas, to revitalize the Trinity River floodplain.

“When first commissioned by the Dallas City Council in January 2002, to design a “signature bridge,” the celebrated architect [Santiago Calatrava] derived a plan that will not only create a new icon for the city’s skyline, but will also pump life back into the Trinity River. For Calatrava, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is a symbolic gesture; a gateway into the city and the realization of the Trinity River’s enormous capacity to bring a new piece of functional, yet aesthetically stunning development to Dallas. It is also the first vehicular bridge that the celebrated architect has designed in the United States.” – Adrian Welch

The MHH Bridge is the Woodall Rogers Freeway crossing over the Trinity River, connecting Downtown and West Dallas. Not only a literal bridge between these two areas, it’s become a metaphorical icon reaching across the economic chasm that exists between them – spurring urban planning and economic development aimed at revitalizing West Dallas.

“It’s important to remember, that a skyline does not only consist of vertical landmarks. It is also created by horizontal landmarks. And a bridge, more than anything, is both a vertical and horizontal landmark. It’s a functional sculpture over the water.” -- Santiago Calatrava, Designer

The bridge, as noted, was conceptualized by renowned Spanish architect, artist and engineer, Santiago Calatrava. The white center arch pylon rises 440 feet above the floodplain; a Dallas skyline exclamation with its unique, mesmerizing arrangement of cables and artful lighting at night.

Signature engineering doesn’t come without equal efforts in funding, project management, and project adaptability. For example: changes to national levee requirements mid-way through the project’s construction required the team to overcome new challenges and obtain the additionally required 208 permit. The Corps of Engineers OK was obtained (to great relief) without throwing the bridge out of schedule or budget.

One of many process improvements was the use of a floating tension rig contained within the expansion sleeve in place of the typical larger, bulkier deviator installed inside an external guide pipe. This improved the appearance of the arch and reduced both construction costs and installation schedules.

Cost overruns generated both controversy and inspired “value engineering.” When asked to explain what that means, Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm says: “On the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, some of the pipes in the deck that drain water were originally stainless steel, and they were changed to PVC. That was the value engineering.”

A three-day grand opening gala was held to celebrate the bridge’s completion. More than 40,000 people came out to participate in the weekend-long festivities culminating in a dramatic fireworks display which illuminated the Dallas skyline and highlighted its newest addition.

Despite its share of criticism, the Hunt Hill Bridge appears to have become a welcome part of the city skyline – though, at the time of this writing, it’s still too early to say whether it can deliver on its promise to bring a flood of new development into West Dallas. [Optimism remains high; and locals of my acquaintance are eager to show off both the bridge and the revitalized West Dallas eateries and shops “across the Trinity.” For instance, current Texas travel & foodie buzz is all about Trinity Groves, where Phil Romano, a well-known Dallas restaurateur, snapped up many of the existing buildings at the base of the bridge with plans to turn the area into “Foodie Heaven,” featuring incubator restaurants with a mix of unique retail shops, a concert venue and much more. (“Taste Makers
Inventive foodies test the waters at the new Trinity Groves district in Dallas” Texas Journey January/February 2014 (visit link) ) But I digress – again.]

Broader development plans for the Trinity River floodplain include three more Calatrava bridges; the second of which, the Margaret McDermott Bridge planned along Interstate 30, received funding approval from the Dallas City Council in January, 2013.

- Texas Department of Transportation
---Phil Wilson, Executive Director, Bill Hale TxDOT Dallas District Engineer
- City of Dallas
---Mary K. Suhm, City Manager
- Santiago Calatrava
- Williams Brothers Construction Company, Inc., Randy T. Rodgers, Vice President

• First of 3 new City of Dallas "signature" bridges over the Trinity River.
• First U.S. vehicular bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava
• Singleton Blvd / Woodall Rodgers Fwy (Dallas)
• Cable-stayed bridge (harp style)
--- 400 ft. high arched pylon with 58 cables attached to center spine of bridge.
--- 3 lanes of traffic each way.
--- Concrete deck approach spans.
• Open to traffic
• Completed 2012
• Designer: Santiago Calatrava of Benimàmet, Valencia, Spain
• Dimensions
--- Length of largest span: 1,197.0 ft.
--- Total length: 1,870.0 ft.

MORE FACTS (Trinity River Corridor Project Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (visit link) )

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is one of three vehicular bridges being built as part of the Trinity River Corridor Project. The two signature bridges designed by renowned Spanish architect, engineer and artist Santiago Calatrava include the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the IH-30 - Margaret McDermott Bridge. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is the first Calatrava vehicular bridge in the United States and its riveting beauty complements the spirit and growth of the Dallas.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is located beside the Continental Avenue Bridge and it represents the first seamless connection between West Dallas and Woodall Rodgers Freeway, downtown Dallas and points beyond in the north. Commuters will cross the Trinity River and may choose to connect with Woodall Rodgers, Riverfront Boulevard and IH-35.?

.366 miles / 6.0 acres

Total cost is approximately $120 million. The construction contract for the signature span and approaches inside the levees was awarded for $69.7 million. The construction contract for the approach spans outside the levee was awarded for $50 million.

Start 6/14/07 and the completion date is March 2012 with the opening festivities scheduled for March 2-4, 2012. Visit for more details regarding the opening.

Trinity River Corridor Project Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (visit link)
Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Hunt Hill bridge’ (visit link)
WFAA “Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge finally opens to traffic” March 29, 2012 (visit link)
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge – Wikipedia (visit link)
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebration (visit link)
Dallas’ Margaret Hunt Hill “Signature” Bridge Opens (visit link)
Trinity Trust The Bridges (visit link)
BridgeHunter Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (visit link)
Texas Monthly “Arch of Triumph” August 2011 (visit link)
Dallas Observer “Mayor Leppert Says Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge "Will Be Finished as Promised" as Corps of Engineers OKs Construction on Approaches” Dec 1 2009 (visit link)
Steel for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has arrived: Bridge will transform Dallas skyline when completed Aug 1 2009 (visit link)
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Celebration (visit link)
The Full Calatrava Trinity Bridges – Dallas (USA) (visit link)
CALATRAVA AND SMU: A DECADE IN MOTION March 4, 2012 (visit link)
How Santiago Calatrava blurred the lines between architecture and engineering to make buildings move 20 Jan 2013 (visit link)
Design Guide “Dallas: Long-Awaited Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to be Unveiled“ 2/28/12 (visit link)
e-architect Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Dallas 15 Mar 2012 (visit link)
WFAA News “Architect hopes to complete trio of Dallas bridges“ (visit link)
Dallas News: “Dallas council approves funding for second Calatrava Bridge, amid concerns about cost over-runs and maintenance price” January 23, 2013
Williams Brothers Construction Co., Inc (visit link)
The unmistakable MHH Bridge connects Spur 366 (Woodall Rodgers Freeway) in downtown to Singleton Boulevard in West Dallas

Type of structure/site: Bridge

Date of Construction: 2007-2012

Engineer/Architect/Builder etc.: Owners: Texas Department of Transportation; City of Dallas Architect/Engineer: Santiago Calatrava Contractor: Williams Brothers Construction Company, Inc

Engineering Organization Listing: Other (specify in description)

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Web Site: [Web Link]

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