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If We Don’t Get Large Marge Into TNT’s Dallas Credits, We May Have Wasted $182 Million

Photo by Scot Miller. Look for many more lovely photos of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in the upcoming March issue of D Magazine.
Photo by Scot Miller. Look for many more lovely photos of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in the upcoming March issue of D Magazine.

The Dallas Morning News added up the full cost for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and found that it’s greater than $182 million. That number is higher than earlier estimates of about $117 million.  The city’s share seems to have been about $28 million, which is “in the ballpark of earlier estimates,” according to the (paywalled) story today.

Large Marge is about to have her grand opening on March 2. (And West Dallas is hosting its own happenings the same weekend – called Bridge-o-Rama – not part of the official Trinity Trust events.)

A little while back I had breakfast with Lynn McBee, the super-fundraiser and volunteer who was heavily involved in planning the bridge’s opening celebration. She’s most excited about Saturday, March 3, when the Trinity Trust expects 30,000 people to come to the bridge for a street fair.

What does she believe we’re getting for our $182 million?

“I don’t think people understand what it’s going to do for the city,”  she said, comparing its expected impact to that of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and the stronger connection it forged between distinct portions of the city. “It’ll have an effect that’s a lot deeper than it just being an iconic structure, which it is an iconic structure.”

“Maybe it’ll displace the Reunion (Tower) ball. When people think of Dallas, they’ll think of the Calatrava bridge and that lovely arch. Dallas is a real bold city, and I think that represents the future, and that structure represents what I think Dallas is about.”

But will it supplant Reunion Tower as the top postcard image of our skyline? If that’s the desire of city leaders, I hope they’ve already been talking to the producers of TNT’s reboot of Dallas. We need to get Large Marge into the show’s opening credits.

Isn’t that how the country knows our skyline at all?