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Gateway Bridge Groundbreaking Signifies a Big Future for Forney

05-10-2012

Denise Bell
Post Managing Editor

It was a bright and beautiful morning in Forney, Texas as history was made at the official groundbreaking of Forney’s Gateway Bridge.

By far the largest construction project the City of Forney has ever undertaken, Forney Mayor Darren Rozell welcomed W. Herbert Hunt and the Hunt Family Investment Group, along with numerous state and county officials to participate in a “turning dirt” ceremony that was preceded by several brief speeches.

Holding the event on the newly constructed spine road that will lead to the new bridge, a large white tent was erected and a lovely breakfast buffet was provided to the approximate one hundred guests that attended.

Opening the ceremony Forney Economic Development Board President, Matt Ferguson, thanked everyone for attending, and after a fitting invocation, introduced the events Keynote Speaker, Texas Senator, Bob Deuell.

Senator Deuell stated, “It’s very apparent that people want to live in this area. It shows, so this bridge needs to be built. This project has been in the making for over five years. And there is great leadership in this area so I’m really proud to be a part of this project.”

Following Senator Deuell to the podium, City of Forney Mayor, Darren Rozell addressed to crowd and stated, “I’m so pleased to see everyone here this morning. Today is a columniation of vision and faith, a true partnership between the public and the private sectors between the City, the RTC (Regional Transportation Council) and the Hunt Investment Group.”

Mayor Rozell said, “This will be completed within two years and this project is for the community. This project will solidify our unity so by being here today you are part of that unity and part of Forney’s history. And Mr. Hunt by building this you are a part of Forney’s future.”

Next representing TxDOT, Tracy Friggie Logan discussed the growth in the area and TxDOT’s role in building The Gateway Bridge, and stated “I’m here today on behalf of TxDOT and we are happy to be part of this project and this community. We consider this project a wise investment into the future and, wait for it, anticipate this project to be completed in October 2013.”

Herbert Hunt, the projects chief benefactor next addressed the crowd and said, “from 2000 to 2010 Forney grew not 1%, not 20% but 120%, growing from about 5,900 people to over 14,000 people. This was a dream of Darrell Grooms even though he is not in office anymore.”

Hunt stated “We have a large investment here and Forney’s Gateway will be the gateway North and South with well over 2,000 acres going forward.  You are sitting on 620 acres that will be used for retail development. And the bottom line is this area will receive several billions of dollars in infrastructure development. As far as I’m concerned Forney will become a true gateway to the future.”

Forney’s Gateway Bridge, formerly known as the Forney Parkway Bridge, will be constructed by the Haydon Building Corporation and is estimated to cost $ 17 million dollars.

The Gateway Bridge will be the first bridge to cross over Hwy 80 and the railroad tracks that split Forney into two halves, and is expected to provide the area with better emergency response times as well as give access to anticipated retail development.