Timeline - Trinity River Vision Authority
Timeline 2018-02-16T12:20:10-06:00

Looking Up River… and Beyond

Over the years, the Trinity River has meant many things to the citizens of Fort Worth – prosperity, beauty, recreation, and at times, even tragedy. Visit these major events leading up to the grand vision we have for our Trinity River today.

United States Army Major Ripley Arnold establishes Fort Worth.

The first reinforced concrete arch bridge in the United States to use self-supporting reinforcing steel. The Paddock Viaduct was constructed across the Trinity River just north of the courthouse.

FLOOD: over 3,000 acres under water, killing 37 people and destroying many more businesses and homes. The existing levees, which were constructed after the 1908 flood, did not prevent damage, so they were increased in height following the flood.

North Central Texas was inundated with torrents of rain in the upper Trinity River. Neighborhoods surrounding downtown were flooded by more than 10 feet of water. Thousands were left homeless, 10 people died and property damages reached $15 million.

United States Army Corps of Engineers opened a Fort Worth office.

The Federally funded improvements were completed, including the construction and strengthening of the levees. The plan also straightened the Clear Fork and West Fork of the river, removing the natural meander of the river in favor of a channel system. Thousands of trees along the banks were bulldozed and levees became barriers that kept people away from the river.

As a result of the levee project, the Trinity River was left a dry, littered ditch for most of the 50s, 60s and early 70s.

Local citizen’s group formalized as Streams and Valleys, an organization charged with the beautification and recreational development of the Trinity River and its tributaries.

The “Halprin Plan” was developed to provide low-level dams, extensive multi-user trail systems, lighting, planting thousands of trees and vastly improving public areas.

EDAW, a noted urban planning firm from Alexandria, Virginia, was commissioned to develop a new plan that focused on expanding public access to the river.

The Trinity River Master Plan was designed to provide flood protection, recreation, scenic beauty and accessibility to the public.

Trinity Uptown was development and published through a partnership between Bing Thom, Bing Thom Architects, and James Toal, Gideon Toal. The plan brought a vision for urbanism and outdoor active lifestyle to our community.

The TRVA was formed to manage and coordinate the project based on local partnerships with the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Streams and Valleys and the Tarrant Regional Water District, working closely with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Texas Department of Transportation.

Neighborhood Recreation Enhancement Plan adopted for the Trinity Trails.

Gateway Park added to Panther Island project bringing needed flood protection and an over 1,000 acre park to the east side of Fort Worth

Panther Island Pavilion was created and became the permanent home for Rockin’ the River, the first event in Fort Worth to get people in the river and change the perception of the Trinity River in Fort Worth.


Coyote Drive-In opens with four outdoor movie screens showing with double features nightly. Concession serves local craft beer, plus a playground.


The first major phase of infrastructure construction occurred when the project broke ground on the three new signature v-pier Panther Island Bridges.


Panther Island Brewing, a family-owned and operated microbrewery opens on Panther Island.


Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), which included the Water Resources Development Act of 2016. This bill fully authorized the TRV project.


Fort Worth’s Fourth celebrates ten years of fourths on the Trinity River. Event was a successful sell-out for VIP and boasted more than 76,000 attendees for the July 4th event.