Photo by Meda Kessler
When it was installed 10 years ago, the Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Bridge made an immediate impact. Linking the east and west banks of the Trinity River, it allowed walkers, runners, cyclists and stroller pushers to enjoy vehicle-free access to Trinity Park and the trails. Over the years, it has become a favorite spot to watch wildlife, anglers and paddlers. With its graceful profile, the 368-foot span features steel “stress ribbon” supports instead of traditional trusses and precast concrete planks lining the steel arch. At night, small lights illuminate the walkway. It’s named for the woman who, in the late 1960s, helped found Streams & Valleys, a nonprofit that worked to improve and celebrate the Trinity River. Tilley saw the potential of the river and a future that belied its early nickname of “The Ditch.” The bridge, which has won numerous awards, was designed by Fort Worth-based Freese and Nichols in collaboration with Rosales + Partners, Boston, and Schlaich Bergermann Partner, New York.