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Continental Avenue Bridge

Photos 

Looking northwest (upstream)

Photo taken by Patrick Feller

License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #306647

Map 

Street View 

Description 

In 1929 and 1930 flood control levees were constructed along the West and Elm Forks and Main Stem of the Trinity River through central Dallas. The river was diverted from its natural course to flow through the resulting channel.

A total of five new steel stringer viaducts with concrete decks and concrete balustrade rails were constructed from levee to levee across the channel.

Facts 

Overview
Viaduct over Trinity River on Continental Avenue
Location
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas
Status
Converted to linear bridge park (West Dallas Gateway) in 2014
History
Built 1930, Closed to vehicular traffic in 2014 and converted to linear bridge park (West Dallas Gateway)
Builders
- Austin Bridge Co. of Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia
- F. D. Hughes of Dallas, Texas (Designer)
- Jean H. Knox (Engineer)
Design
Steel stringer
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 120.1 ft.
Total length: 2,120.2 ft. (0.4 mi.)
Deck width: 39.4 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 5, 2015
Also called
Lamar - McKinney Viaduct
Continental Avenue Viaduct
Continental Viaduct
West Dallas Gateway
Approximate latitude, longitude
+32.78066, -96.82303   (decimal degrees)
32°46'50" N, 96°49'23" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/703885/3629069 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Dallas
Inventory numbers
TXNBI 1805709C5810007 (Texas bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
NRHP 15000708 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 63890 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 09/2011)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 55.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2007)
17,900

Update Log 

  • October 30, 2014: Updated by Luke: Added category "Trinity River (Texas)"
  • October 30, 2014: Photo imported by Patrick Feller
  • October 29, 2014: New Street View added by M C Toyer

Related Bridges 

  • Shady Grove Bridge (Same project) - 5 new viaducts of similar design built 1930-31 in conjunction with large flood control project
  • Corinth Street Viaduct (Same project) - 5 new viaducts of similar design built 1930-31 in conjunction with large flood control project
  • Commerce Street Viaduct (Same project) - 5 new viaducts of similar design built 1930-31 in conjunction with large flood control project
  • Cadiz Street Viaduct (Same project) - 5 new viaducts of similar design built 1930-31 in conjunction with large flood control project

Sources 

  • M C Toyer - mctoyer [at] hotmail [dot] com

Comments 

Continental Avenue Bridge
Posted October 30, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

For comparison, in Chicago, the Chicago River is the Chicago River, even though sections of it have been completely realigned and relocated. So without knowing Dallas history, I would say calling it the Trinity River was the right move.

Continental Avenue Bridge
Posted October 30, 2014, by M C Toyer (mctoyer [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Patrick -

I concur with you current assessment but the historic name and context should not be disregarded so accordingly I have re-entered that in the "Also Called" section.

Also, I believe current nomenclature for the diversion channel includes "Trinity River Corridor," "Greenbelt Park" and "Dallas Floodway." Those variations are often subjective by the user as to whether they want to see it paved, benefit recreation, or left alone.

Continental Avenue Viaduct
Posted October 30, 2014, by Patrick Feller (nakrnsm [at] aol [dot] com)

Thank you, MC

Calling the Trinity River as it runs south of Dallas the "Trinity River Diversion Channel" is not only cartographically inaccurate, but it doesn't reflect the situation as mapped and as referred to by either locals, officials, the media or others.

Where it can still be discerned, the old Trinity River channel is referred to, on maps and otherwise, as the "Old Trinity River Channel", thus receiving its due historic recognition.

Similar concerns for cartographic, media and common usage require that the bridge be called by its name, Continental Avenue Bridge, not Continental Avenue Viaduct.

- Patrick

Continental Avenue Bridge
Posted October 30, 2014, by M C Toyer (mctoyer [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Patrick -

Thank you for the added name information and great photos on all these historic viaducts.

I know Trinity River Diversion Channel is a bit awkward but I think it is important to distinguish between the natural channel which resumes just below Corinth Street and still exists in numerous other segments outside the levees.

I believe the relatively recent change in referring to the Continental Viaduct as a Bridge was so it did not diminish the new Margaret Hunt Hill "Calatrava" Signature Bridge immediately south.

Continental Avenue Bridge
Posted October 30, 2014, by Patrick Feller (nakrnsm [at] aol [dot] com)

While the Trinity here is not the original channel, Dallas, maps, and the NBI still call it the Trinity River.

Continental Avenue Bridge
Posted October 30, 2014, by Patrick Feller (nakrnsm [at] aol [dot] com)

The current name that Dallas uses for the bridge is "Continental Avenue Bridge".

http://dallascontinentalbridge.com/