The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was built in 2012, connecting Downtown Dallas to West Dallas. Previously West Dallas was separated from the rest of Dallas by the Trinity River, but they are now connected, opening doors for rapid development and growth. The bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava, with large white loops, becoming a key part of the Dallas skyline (Cole, 2019).
When the bridge was first built, it was called the “bridge to nowhere” showing how West Dallas residents were considered outsiders and separate from the life in Downtown Dallas. Eventually, this narrative began to shift as developers began building new apartment buildings, restaurants, and hotels (Collins, n.d.).
Many residents were happy to see the changes being made to their neighborhood because the new development lead to cleaner streets, safer neighborhoods, and more jobs. In KERA’s news segment on West Dallas, a community leader named Ronnie Mestas expressed his happiness that the neighborhood was changing for the better, although he didn’t want to be pushed out (Collins, n.d.).
Other residents are very unhappy with the new development because it has caused higher costs of living and a deterioration of the neighborhood culture. Previously, West Dallas was a very poor area, with some families paying as little as $300 per month in rent, but with the development expansion into West Dallas, those families are being pushed out. As gentrification continues, there won’t be any place left for the current residents of West Dallas to live and they will be forced to move to other areas where they can afford housing, stripping West Dallas of its history and culture (Collins, n.d.).
To skip ahead to topics related to the housing crisis in West Dallas, click on the topic below:
West Dallas residents were displaced after their landlords refused to bring homes up to new housing codes:
Cole, H. (2019, September 25). How West Dallas Became “Somewhere”, Except For Its Residents. Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability. http://www.bcnuej.org/2019/09/25/how-west-dallas-became-somewhere-except-for-its-residents/
Collins, C. (n.d.). The Story Of West Dallas From Bonnie And Clyde To Margaret Hunt Hill. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from http://stories.kera.org/no-place/2017/04/23/the-story-of-the-place-on-the-other-side-of-the-trinity/
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge – Dallas, Texas, U.S. (2009, August 31). AEWORLDMAP.COM (3,000+ Posts). https://aeworldmap.com/2009/08/30/margaret-hunt-hill-bridge-dallas-texas/