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Clear Fork Emergency Access Bridge (FW-Benbrook)

Bellaire Benbrook Bridge Trinity River Opposition Clear Fork

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Poll: Clear Fork Emergency Access Bridge Poll (12 member(s) have cast votes)

Are you in favor of this project?

  1. YES (6 votes [50.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. NO (2 votes [16.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  3. NEUTRAL (4 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

Do you wish this bridge design would accommodate bicycle and pedestrian access?

  1. YES (10 votes [83.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 83.33%

  2. NO (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. NO OPINION (2 votes [16.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

How often to you drive or bike past this bridge location?

  1. Everyday (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Weekly (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Semimonthly (4 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  4. Monthly (3 votes [25.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  5. Annually (3 votes [25.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  6. Never (2 votes [16.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

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#1 Stadtplan

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Posted 20 September 2020 - 09:38 PM

The new Clear Fork Emergency Access Bridge between Bellaire Dr. S. and I-20 Service Rd underpass is nearing completion.  Construction is about 75% finished and to my surprise, it was not blocked off, no warning signage or anything restricting access on the Bellaire side other than those large construction traffic drums.  The jobsite was a complete mess today with plenty of nails and tripping hazards on the far side so not recommended to check this out.  I saw ahead of me, two bikers crossing the bridge so I thought with it wide open, maybe this was to be a new pedestrian / bike path extension (to the I-20 service road?) but highly unlikely considering it is only wide enough to fit a fire engine and will be keycode gate access only.  There's several S-T articles about this but I linked the city-provided PDF's here:

 

http://benbrooklife.com/clear_fork_bridge_benbrook.pdf 

 

http://apps.fortwort...cess Bridge.pdf

 

City of Benbrook Design Files:

xqm9vXC.png

 

qh8uXFw.png

CRSilOY.jpg

(This is an odd rendering, but sort of the over-simplified view of a bridge serving a small enclave of homes?  I guess the designer got bored or ran out of time.)

 

 

 

Work In-Progress as-of 9-20-20:

 

B08LAKt.jpg

(Looking East)

 

vRP5jyi.jpg

(Looking West)

 

IFl8KTd.jpg

(Looking NW)

 

aiGyS86.jpg?1

(Looking SW)

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Doohickie

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 06:07 AM

An early concept for the bridge did provide for pedestrian/bicycle access but to appease the NO BRIDGE NO WAY crowd they removed it.


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#3 txbornviking

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 11:59 AM

An early concept for the bridge did provide for pedestrian/bicycle access but to appease the NO BRIDGE NO WAY crowd they removed it.

 

I remember seeing signs in that neighborhood that quite literally said just that "NO BRIDGE NO WAY"

 

shooting down the bike/pedestrian access really seems the epitome of cutting off ones nose to spite your face



#4 Austin55

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 12:03 PM

This has to be one of the wackiest NIMBY situations ever.



#5 rriojas71

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 12:13 PM

Yeah, they didn't want a bridge because they believe that bike/jogging paths bring criminals to your neighborhood.



#6 Doohickie

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:25 PM

Yeah, they didn't want a bridge because they believe that bike/jogging paths bring criminals to your neighborhood.

Funny thing is that the die was cast long before the bridge was built.  There was a quid pro quo agreed to by Fort Worth and Benbrook.  Benbrook agreed to grant Fort Worth an exit from the Waterside development to Bellaire Drive (west end of Watercourse Drive) in exchange for permission to build the emergency bridge connecting the I-20 Access Road to Bellaire to shorten emergency response times.  Ironically a lot of the NO BRIDGE NO WAY protesters were Benbrook residents who will benefit from the bridge if they need emergency response.


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#7 Stadtplan

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 12:09 PM

I was always curious what percentage of residents along Bellaire find those biking through their neighborhood to be a nuisance?  I rarely see that many people other than bikers and walkers out enjoying the day.



#8 Dylan

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 04:55 PM

There's opposition to a bridge that leads to a service road with no development along it? What?

 

If anything, I'm surprised residents wouldn't ask for an even bigger bridge that can accommodate car traffic so they can use it as well.


-Dylan


#9 John T Roberts

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 09:31 PM

I think the residents want to ensure that when development does happen on that service road that there will never be a way for traffic to cut through their neighborhood.  If you remember, a huge commercial development was planned on the south side of I-20 that stretched from Winscott Road all the way eastward to the Trinity River.



#10 youngalum

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:20 AM

I think the residents want to ensure that when development does happen on that service road that there will never be a way for traffic to cut through their neighborhood.  If you remember, a huge commercial development was planned on the south side of I-20 that stretched from Winscott Road all the way eastward to the Trinity River.

I live in RCCE along the service road.

 

I did not want a full bridge for all traffic built but did not oppose for emergency or bikes.

 

However, I do know that development is coming to the area regardless of what and therefore would rather have full service roads completed than the turnaround as it stands today. Rumors have that the open space is being eyed by Nebraska Furniture for a site. I also know on the west side of RCCE along the service road where the horses are now is slated to be a new Audi dealership out of Houston.

 

Finally, the TXDOT is going expand the Bryant Irwin entrance ramp to westbound I-20. If I was to bet, the service road should be completed without the turnaround but that invites traffic when there are MVA's in the area.

 

The old dirt sound barrier is going away and a new higher one, than currently out there, will be built supposedly along the service road and frankly at that point, I no longer care what they do on the service road.



#11 Stadtplan

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 11:13 PM

More Emergency Access Bridge photos from Saturday 10/3/20.  Does anyone know more about the scope of work going on above, along the highway and below, along the river?  Does it include adding a low water crossing?

 

X0X9UaH.jpg

 

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9MAEOWt.jpg

 

wGTDfqR.jpg

 

zmmnRLM.jpg

 

abOMpEu.jpg

 

1oFAxke.jpg

 

glBjEbD.jpg

 

2Syow0E.jpg

 

 



#12 Doohickie

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:32 PM

I noticed that too.  Looks like they are adding lanes to the bridge.


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#13 elpingüino

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 08:39 PM

I-20 is getting a lane added in each direction, https://www.txdot.go...rth/021218.html

#14 txbornviking

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 08:34 AM

I-20 is getting a lane added in each direction, https://www.txdot.go...rth/021218.html

 

boooooooooooooooo 



#15 youngalum

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 11:23 AM

I noticed that too.  Looks like they are adding lanes to the bridge.

I actually said that fact in an earlier post #10--expanding the BI entrance ramp to westbound I-20



#16 Stadtplan

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 12:30 PM

youngalum, thanks for your input.  That old dirt sound barrier, just doesn't look like it really ever accomplished much.  After seeing the TXDOT files, I have a better visual on the scope of this project in context to your earlier comment.

 

elpingüino, thanks for the TXDOT link. 

 

At least you can't say TXDOT isn't thorough with documenting their projects, including scans of the original eligible voter ballots with handwritten comments (names not withheld).  Good for the community for speaking up and asking for a higher barriers and it looks like some parts of the wall will get up to 20' instead of the proposed 14'.  I'd be curious how many of the eligible voters, lived here before the freeway was built? Is the general tone of this project relief or anger and disgust or both?  Best I can tell, the freeway was built around 1977 - 1981, can someone confirm exact dates please?  Many of the RCCE homes were there before the freeway and it looks like home construction began around 1965-ish give or take.  I can only imagine, building a brand new home on a golf course and 10 or so years later, there's a freeway in your backyard.  I'm sure there's a lot more to this the history I'm completely blind to but interested in knowing more.

 

http://ftp.dot.state...cumentation.pdf

 

Summary of Changes Resulting from Noise Barrier Workshop

 

Below is a description of the changes made based on comments received from the Noise Workshop and

subsequent review, design, and modeling. A notice will be sent to the Noise Barrier Workshop mailing list

and those who requested updates to inform them that the Noise Barrier Workshop documentation and

information on changes to the noise barriers is posted to the TxDOT project webpage.

 

Ridglea Country Club Estates

 

Based on comments received from the Noise Workshop and subsequent review, design, and modeling,

TxDOT has revised the barrier layout for the Ridglea barrier. The revised barrier will be a 20-foot-tall

concrete wall and extend along the westbound mainlanes of I-20 from the Clear Fork of the Trinity River

bridge to the Winscott Road exit ramp. Also, a 20-foot-tall concrete noise barrier will be added for a

distance of 330 feet along the I-20 westbound frontage road near the Winscott Road exit ramp to reduce

traffic noise in the area where the ramp meets the frontage road. The revised Ridglea barrier meets the

required feasible and reasonable noise abatement criteria.

 

Meadow Park Court

Based on comments received from the Noise Workshop and subsequent review, design, and modeling,

TxDOT has revised the barrier layout for the Meadowpark Court noise barrier to move it from the right-ofway (ROW) line to the I-20 mainlanes. The revised barrier will be a 20-foot-tall concrete wall and extend along the westbound mainlanes of I-20 from near the U-turn bridge to the Clear Fork of the Trinity River

bridge. A 20-foot-tall noise barrier is not feasible on the bridge due to the weight of the barrier and the

dynamic wind loading. Instead, a 6-foot-tall traffic barrier will be included on the bridge to help reduce

traffic noise. The revised Meadowpark Court barrier meets the required feasible and reasonable noise

abatement criteria.

 

Lines representing the revised noise barrier locations are shown on the map on the next page.

Construction of these mainlane noise barriers is anticipated to begin in mid to late 2020. Aesthetic

treatments will be incorporated on both sides of the noise barriers, similar in color

and pattern to the adjacent Chisholm Trail aesthetics.

 

 

 



#17 youngalum

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 11:19 AM

Yeah, it is a little annoying that my name, address and telephone # was made public.

 

My house was built in 1972. I am on the patio with the nice weather and I have outdoor speakers. So i just turn up the volume when necessary. You actual become numb to the noise after a few minutes and go on about your day.

 

The dirt sound barrier only helped block the view of the traffic. I can see the tops of 18 wheelers and that is about it. The original design of 14 ft with Plexiglas was a non starter. Our neighborhood was very organized on this issue and we had multiple people out campaigning to get people to return the TXDOT comments. It worked and now we have a higher concrete wall. All good!! 



#18 Stadtplan

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 07:20 PM

Here's some construction progress photos I took on Nov 22, 2020:

NYDZFFG.jpg

 

xIE2NRS.jpg

 

kQfLoag.jpg

 

ipj2iZ3.jpg

 

AjAoA4S.jpg

 

 

fW1GCJh.jpg

 

Sl1Mwam.jpg

 



#19 John T Roberts

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 09:12 PM

It looks like they are moving along.  When I ride, I need to get off the bike and photograph more.



#20 RD Milhollin

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 11:27 PM

Bridge to nowhere?



#21 Doohickie

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Posted 10 December 2020 - 11:58 PM

The ongoing construction at this point is to add lanes to I20.  The bridge is done. 

 

It is a bridge to somewhere, basically from from the main part of Benbrook via the I20 access road to the little piece off Bellaire, to provide emergency response more quickly.


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#22 Stadtplan

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 08:46 AM

Does the addition of the I-20 lane negate the necessity of the emergency bridge or at least diminishes it considerably or do the projects compliment each other?  I've been wondering if TXDot was telling Benbrook, "you think you'll make us look bad building your silly little bridge....watch this."



#23 Doohickie

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 11:00 AM

The projects have absolutely nothing to do with each other.  The additional I20 lanes don't provide additional access anywhere, just an increase in capacity on the existing I20.

 

Without the bridge, Benbrook emergency services travel several miles out of the way to get to the little piece of Benbrook off Bellaire.  Even with no traffic on I20 it adds several minutes to the trip (which if a person is suffering from a medical emergency or a house fire is just starting, is a very long time).


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#24 Stadtplan

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 12:03 PM

OK got it.  I was thinking based on this rendering from the packet that stopped traffic on I-20 at the upper bridge was the underlying issue for emergency services.

 

CRSilOY.jpg



#25 Doohickie

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 01:17 PM

It's part of the sales pitch and yes, congested traffic makes response time worse.

 

From this PDF

 

Typical Drive Time to Northeast Benbrook (in minutes)

  • West Vickery Boulevard - 7:11
  • I-20 to Bryant Irvin Road - 9:43
  • Emergency Access Bridge - 4:10

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#26 youngalum

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Posted 11 December 2020 - 02:45 PM

The projects have absolutely nothing to do with each other.  The additional I20 lanes don't provide additional access anywhere, just an increase in capacity on the existing I20.

 

Without the bridge, Benbrook emergency services travel several miles out of the way to get to the little piece of Benbrook off Bellaire.  Even with no traffic on I20 it adds several minutes to the trip (which if a person is suffering from a medical emergency or a house fire is just starting, is a very long time).

Benbrook is also in Ridglea Country Club Estates 



#27 Doohickie

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 09:04 PM

Okay.  So?


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#28 Stadtplan

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 11:06 PM

Question: for those that voted (above) in favor of using the new bridge for bike / pedestrian traffic, what would your ideal route have been if this bridge were designed to allow for a bike connection to the access road on the other side of the river? Im guessing travel along the access road to or from Winscott but then along Winscott to where? How safe is that? Just seems like limited shoulder at Winscott and I-20.

#29 Doohickie

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 09:25 AM

Question: for those that voted (above) in favor of using the new bridge for bike / pedestrian traffic, what would your ideal route have been if this bridge were designed to allow for a bike connection to the access road on the other side of the river? Im guessing travel along the access road to or from Winscott but then along Winscott to where? How safe is that? Just seems like limited shoulder at Winscott and I-20.

According to the Trinity River Strategic Master Plan on page 73 it looks like it would in fact track along the access road (I suspect it would be an off road bike trail adjacent to the access road) that would T off to the north, running just west of Winding Way, and eventually connecting with the Bomber Spur (without addressing how it would cross the train tracks), and also branching off to the northwest to follow Mary's Creek.  That looks like a long term plan at best, but it's in the strategic plan.


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#30 Stadtplan

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 10:41 AM

Dookickie, thanks for helping to identify that plan.  I took a snipet of your reference doc and found the corresponding legends for the bikeway network:

 

wxMxHEF.png

XcEKxfK.png

XTpgCkT.png



#31 Doohickie

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 11:56 AM

Oh, so the portion on the access road is "on street"?  I find it interesting they think they can do that on an interstate highway.  (Can they?)


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#32 Doohickie

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 11:59 AM

By the way, that's a good document to peruse.  I downloaded a copy of the 2009 version and it's interesting to see the changes from one to the next (including the Woodshed and nearby trailhead, the Clearfork Bridge, Tilley Bridge, Mistletoe Bridge, east bank trail (across from Trinity Park), etc., etc., not to mention improvements on existing trails.  If you're interested in the 2009 version here's an archived version. (If it asks for a contribution you can X out of it to go to the pdf.)


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#33 Stadtplan

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 02:44 PM

"Confluence" that is a great document you referenced and thanks for posting it and the earlier version.  I first set eyes on it a few months back when you brought up the Bomber Spur project and there's several proposed projects worth discussing in there.  I'll try to drop some of those over in a new thread(s).



#34 Doohickie

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 03:23 PM

At one point I considered starting a list of all the stuff in the 2009 document that's been implemented or is in work.  It's a pretty long list but by no means were all the projects in that document built.  It kind of informs how much from the later version might come to pass.


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#35 youngalum

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Posted 17 December 2020 - 03:35 PM

Okay.  So?

Jeez--the bridge is for also getting to more than what you said, "Without the bridge, Benbrook emergency services travel several miles out of the way to get to the little piece of Benbrook off Bellaire"

 

Just pointing out that Benbrook is also over the river into RCCE

 

Sorry to offend you buffalo



#36 Doohickie

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Posted 18 December 2020 - 08:38 PM

I don't think the bridge provides access to the estates though.  I'm not offended, I just don't understand your point.


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#37 youngalum

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 11:30 AM

I don't think the bridge provides access to the estates though.  I'm not offended, I just don't understand your point.

The whole point of building the bridge was for quicker emergency access to the northern parts of Benbrook north of I-20. So, just like the time savings for the Bellaire Drive Benbrook areas, it will translate into time savings getting to RCCE Benbrook during emergencies. The justification for building the bridge was also for getting quicker access to the Benbrook side of RCCE as there is only one entrance.



#38 Doohickie

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 12:44 PM

I don't see how this improves access to RCCE.  Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see it.


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#39 youngalum

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 03:45 PM

I don't see how this improves access to RCCE.  Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see it.

Of course it will improve access as part of the justification was getting to ALL OF NORTH BENBROOK, WHICH INCLUDES RCCE!

 

Do you know how they get there now? I do, the same way they get to Bellaire for Benbrook emergencies. BI road or Vickery Blvd. Having the bridge cuts down on the emergency response time to not only the Bellaire area but also the RCCE areas of Benbrook.

 

You do realize the bridge is being built off the 2nd and 3rd hole of RCC men's course? That the bridge being built got neighborhood notices of its intent and requests for public comments not only for the Bellaire neighborhoods, but also RCCE? I was at the meeting and heard the presentation when it was held at the Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church.



#40 Thurman52

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 07:05 PM

Just curious for what speed did they design it?  Seems narrow and wonder if emergency vehicles can make it at top speed?



#41 Stadtplan

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 07:52 PM

I will check the construction docs and let you know what what they have listed. I would suspect making the turns onto and off the bridge while approaching the access controlled gates on each side will limit speeds to that of a normal right and left hand turns.

#42 Stadtplan

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Posted 21 December 2020 - 11:21 PM

I found some info on posted speed limits for the approaching roadways as well as found the plan for the bridge controls and gate controls.  It appears there is a sophisticated Opticom Detector / Preemption Detection system for gathering signals from approaching emergency vehicles to operate the gates.  Interestingly enough, there's also a trapped occupant exit push button station.  The bridge is 15'-0" wide at the narrowest section in the middle.

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#43 Doohickie

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 09:31 AM

Optical emitter.... I think most people call those "lights".


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#44 Stadtplan

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 09:55 AM

It's a special receptor to catch a certain flashing light or infrared signal from oncoming emergency vehicles that is used to preemptively trigger a signal and either freeze the intersection or give a green light in preference to the direction of travel of the emergency vehicle.  In this case, operate a gate (I'm assuming without looking at the schematic diagrams).  Some traffic signals have a confirming light that flashes when the intersection freezes pending oncoming emergency responders.  Back in the day and still some older stop lights allowed you can trigger them by blinking your high beams.  I believe the newer signals have a more sophisticated infrared signal that is harder to spoof.   

 

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#45 Stadtplan

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Posted 11 July 2021 - 11:17 PM

Here's some photos from this afternoon:

 

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#46 Stadtplan

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 03:20 PM

Some more construction updates:

 

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#47 steave

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 05:06 PM

Interesting, I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before.



#48 Stadtplan

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 05:12 PM

Interesting, I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before.


It is designed to improve response time by facilitating Benbrook emergency vehicles access to the rest of their jurisdiction when there is gridlock on I-20.

#49 Crestline

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Posted 08 July 2022 - 10:39 AM

On the one hand, I hate that I'm barred from walking or biking over this delightful footbridge. On the other hand, from a pedestrian and cyclist perspective it sorta is a bridge to no-where. I'm conflicted!  :P



#50 Stadtplan

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Posted 08 July 2022 - 11:33 AM

If it has allowed pedestrian / bike use, there was potential to expand a bike lane or trail along the westbound service road.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Bellaire, Benbrook, Bridge, Trinity River, Opposition, Clear Fork

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