Call it a 'world-class' renovation. That's because replacing the aging West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, TX --built in 1913 and expanded in 1953-- will deploy the world's first pre-cast network arch bridge.

The new $25.9 million bridge will be just one foot shorter (981 ft.) than the current bridge but it will be 31 feet wider (88 ft.) allowing for greater pedestrian traffic on sidewalks that will expand from 4.8 feet to a width of 10 feet.

Although the bridge is deemed safe to use, beams, girders and the deck of the 1913 section are deteriorating. The new design minimizes traffic and lane closures and the full closure of the bridge is expected to take no more than 150 days.

Sundt Construction of San Antonio will build the new bridge which was designed by TxDOT and the City of Fort Worth to create a gateway structure while minimizing construction impact.

The design enabled the contractor to already begin off-site construction; to build the pre-cast concrete bridge elements off-site in a casting yard located on West 5th Street; and to reduce the existing bridge to one lane in each direction in order to place the pre-cast arches on the outside of the bridge.

Interestingly, by expanding the width of the bridge, pedestrians and cyclists will have safer and improved mobility on the new bridge which includes separated 10.5 foot travel ways on the outside of the bridge.

Everything is moving as scheduled and the new bridge is scheduled to be open to traffic before Thanksgiving, 2013.

It's important to understand that the aging bridge is a popular east-west thoroughfare that connects downtown to the Cultural District and the new West 7th Street Bridge will serve not only as a state-of-the-art infrastructure improvement but as a landmark gateway too... Kudos, Fort Worth!!