The pedestrian walkway formerly known as the Continental Avenue Bridge was rededicated Saturday and named for Ron Kirk, the first black mayor or Dallas.
"On behalf of the Dallas citizens and the Dallas city council," said current Mayor Mike Rawlings, "I hereby proclaim this bridge to henceforth be named Ronald Kirk Bridge!"
The walkway parallels the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and, in the four years since it opened, has become an iconic image in Dallas.
Mayor Rawlings said it's only fitting it be named for Kirk. "Ron Kirk is not only a bridge builder, he is a city builder."
Ron Kirk was elected mayor in 1995, served two terms and went on to be named President Obama's Ambassador on trade relations. Kirk told the crowd that the Trinity River no longer segregates Dallas.
"For too long in this city," said Kirk "this river may as well have been Dallas' Berlin Wall because it divided our city north from south, east from west, black and brown from white. And we struggled for far too long it seems like to make Dallas whole."
Kirk's legacy as mayor includes the building of the American Airlines Center and redevelopment along the Trinity River corridor. Despite critics, he said, who doubted it would ever happen.
"Nobody's going to live downtown. Nobody's going to ride DART. Who's going to go to a park over Woodall Rogers? Build it and they will come.
Creation of the Trinity Groves district, with food and entertainment west of downtown and, of course the bridge now named for him, said Kirk, has proved the critics wrong.
"I love that no matter when you come here there are people exercising. They're doing yoga, or its young people sitting and talking. That's why we wanted this pedestrian bridge, as a gathering place."