Big Bertha's Adventures

Road Construction Series: LBJ Freeway Part 2. Joe Ratcliff Pedestrian Walkway


Who knew road construction could be exciting?    This is Part 2 of a multi-part series I hope you enjoy and maybe it will inspire you to look at the world around you with a new perspective.  If you missed Part 1 click here.  

First a note of thanks to the following individuals who had a hand in making this series possible:

1.  Tore Bellis:  My photography buddy on this expedition – he also drove and made sure I didn’t stray or trespass…
2.  Sam Solomon:  My friend who encouraged me to document the history of the LBJ Freeway.
3.  Fernando De Los Santos:  My friend who also encouraged me to document the history of LBJ Freeway.  He also suggested a photography buddy would be a good idea for safety.  Plus he’s given me great website links and books to learn more about photography – and I’m excited to report the material is sinking in!

—————————–
Our westbound journey continues!

We saw a sign for a community garden so Tore decided to take a detour.  That detour never led us to the garden but we ended up at a location we had hoped to find eventually:  the bridge.

This is the Joe Ratcliff Pedestrian Bridge.  I drive under it daily but never thought about walking across it.  With some diligent Google sleuthing, I found some interesting information on the bridge.

Fun Facts:

  • It’s named after Texas House of Representative, Joseph Neil “Joe” Ratcliff.
  • The bridge provides a safe way for children to cross the freeway to get to school.

Here’s an excerpt from a resolution from the House of Representatives:

“WHEREAS, In the spring of 1969, children attending schools on 
either side of Interstate Highway 635 in north Dallas County were 
endangering themselves and motorists when using an elevated, 
uncovered pedestrian walkway to cross the interstate on their way 
to and from school; and
  WHEREAS, Some children were dropping schoolbooks, lunch 
boxes, and other objects over the walkway's edge and onto motorists 
using the highway that runs beneath the walkway; other children 
were walking its narrow, unprotected ledges and even dangling 
themselves and others over its sides..."

Read the complete text here.

Enough history, let’s look at the photos!

With the LBJ Construction, the bridge was demolished and replaced.  As you approach the bridge you’ll notice it’s now ADA compliant.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Here’s a look at the bridge from ground level.

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A close-up of the bridge.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Aside from traffic, you could hear a steady hum from these lights they use for working at night.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Here’s a look at traffic going Westbound on 635.  Take a look at the old and new concrete.  I opted for a larger photo so you can get a better view of the construction and the chaos.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Construction supplies and porta potties.

Big Bertha's Adventures

Traffic.

Big Bertha's Adventures

No, this is not a parking lot.  This is a regular day on LBJ Freeway!  Actually, I suspect there’s an eastbound accident or perhaps lane reductions somewhere.

Big Bertha's Adventures

As I was looking at the traffic, there was a driver that looked up and waved at Big Bertha and me.  I found that very humorous.

Before leaving the bridge we did a quick Foxtrot just to say we did.

Stay tuned for the next blog post.  We’ll continue our journey westbound on 635 toward Interstate 35.

Interesting link on the road construction plus videos and more:  LBJ Express Project

Camera used: Big Bertha (Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
Date:  October 2013

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