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The Pleasant Valley Bridge project was celebrated June 27 as something much greater than a widened road taken out of a floodplain.
The bridge’s 92-foot towers and 8-foot City logo make Pleasant Valley Road a signature entry point. The project is the basis of a trails connection to natural features in Garland and several nearby cities.
And it is relief in the Firewheel Town Center area, where growth had overwhelmed the two lanes of country-style asphalt that was the former Pleasant Valley Road. A low crossing at Rowlett Creek and truck traffic headed to the Charles M. Hinton Jr. Regional Landfill compounded the issues.
The four-lane concrete upgrade, including a 1,555-foot bridge, is the result of the City’s $24.8 million partnership with the North Central Texas Council of Governments and Dallas County.
“The partnership to bring all this together has many components,” Mayor Scott LeMay said at the bridge opening ceremony. “But it also has many, many years in the making. So for us to be standing here today, it feels really good.”
The bridge connects Garland to Miles Road and a Bush Turnpike exit. Miles Road is Sachse’s major north-south artery and home to 4,600 students at three Garland Independent School District campuses.
The project includes quality-of-life benefits for the non-motorist as well. There are hike and bike pathways on both sides of the bridge. There’s a new trailhead parking lot. There are 1.2 miles of hike and bike trails under construction off the bridge.
The trails will eventually connect to Garland’s natural areas along Rowlett Creek and at Lake Ray Hubbard. They’re part of a regional plan to connect with Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano and Richardson. And the entire project was built with limited impacts on the environmentally sensitive areas along Rowlett Creek.
“This is a great beginning to a long-term plan for our trail system,” District 1 City Council Member David Gibbons said. He added that future extensions will take the Rowlett Creek trails under State Highway 78 near Firewheel Golf Park and connect to trails along Spring Creek.
PHOTO: Cutting the ribbon at the Pleasant Valley Bridge Project Celebration are, left to right: Dallas County Public Works Director Alberta Blair, Council Member Deborah Morris, Council Member Rich Aubin, Regional Transportation Council Chairman Gary Fickes, Dallas County Commissioner J.J. Koch, Mayor Scott LeMay, Council Member David Gibbons and Council Member Jim Bookhout.