By Helen Bougas
A new bridge in the southeast Dallas neighborhood of Joppa will offer some relief to pedestrians who’ve been forced to resort to unsafe practices to get back home – but they’ll have to wait until 2024 to access it.
The current infrastructure has left the area nearly impassable for those without a car. Pedestrians have found themselves either walking precariously beside speeding cars on the vehicular bridge or squeezing themselves between train cars stopped at the tracks, an option entirely unavailable to cyclists or people who use wheelchairs.
A Curious Texas reader asked us, “When will the pedestrian bridge across the train switching tracks into and out of Joppa be built? It has been promised by the city.”
We reached out to Dr. Ghassan Khankarli, director of the City of Dallas’ Department of Transportation for a statement.
Khankarli said the bridge that will run alongside the current Linfield Road overpass is currently under design. Initially expected to be completed in October of 2023, final plans are anticipated by March 2024 and construction should begin in late 2024.
“The main scope of work involves the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and improvements to the pedestrian infrastructure at the intersections of Carbondale St. and Loop 12,” Khankarli wrote in a statement, adding that the plan calls for public outreach and environmental review.
The Neighborhood Association President of Joppa, Shalondria Galimore, elaborated on the other aspects of the civil infrastructure promised to Joppa residents, including improvements to the DART system, handicap accommodations, and beautification efforts.
“There’s going to be beautification along Carbondale Street with different types of trees,” Galimore said. “They are looking at noise barrier trees as well as an environmental type of tree to help with the environment because we’re in an industrial zone.”
Funding for the project was approved in June of 2019, and though money provided by the federal government typically takes approximately two years to access, the city was able to expedite the process and the acceleration allowed the engineering contract to be awarded six months ago to Criado & Associates.
Gailmore, like many Joppa residents, is eager to see the end of this project.
“I just hope that they keep to their word and not put it off any longer,” Galimore said. “We’re ready for this to actually take place and come to fruition.”
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