3:30 p.m. On A Wednesday At The Parkland Hospital Sky Bridge.
Welcome to Snapshot, a new feature here on Central Track that aims to slow things down a bit by taking the time to appreciate and examine the overlooked slices of life that occur all around us. Through exploring an intersection, watching a neighborhood, observing a moment or taking a peek behind an oft-forgotten corner, this photo series aims to capture the sights and sounds of Dallas and the surrounding areas — things that most people might zip right past without a second glance. Here, we demand a deeper look.
3:30 p.m. on a Wednesday at the Parkland Hospital Sky Bridge. Since August, the old Parkland Hospital has been connected to the new Parkland Hospital by this new, ceiling-to-floor glass bridge — a construction effort that cost $13 million to complete. It's basically a long tunnel in the air — but one that serves to keep the hospital's doctors, staff and patients safe. And with traffic and unpredictable weather at play outdoors, down on the ground level, that's a real need. Early this year, 61-year-old Parkland nurse Randal Dygert was struck and killed by a shuttle as he attempted to walk from one building to the other across Harry Hines Boulevard.
Many here on the sky bridge on this day still think often of that somber January morning. From their perches on the sky bridge, they can see clearly the spot where that tragedy struck, with the Dallas skyline stamped right behind it.
Hospitals are interesting places as is. They're where lives begin and sometimes end. The bridge, however, serves as a sanctuary from it all, in both the literal and figurative sense. Natural light splashes all along throughout its 923-foot stretch, broken up only by the shadows created by the design.
It's a peaceful place. Sitting on one of its many benches, even while doctors and nurses hurry their way past, it's a calm, mostly quiet setting. The characters are constant: Some walkers catch up with colleagues; others just blaze on through, never once glancing up from their phones; a select few take a moment to take in the 360-degree views.
What happens in the buildings at either end of this bridge is so often a matter of life or death. Here on the bridge, it doesn't have to be.