Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Milestone in construction of new Dallas I-35 park – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

By meerna Jun12,2024

Dallas is one step closer to having another bridge park in the city.

The I-35 deck park under construction near the Dallas Zoo celebrated a major contribution Tuesday morning to the future Southern Gateway Park.

Representatives from Texas Capital and the Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation gathered for a ceremony celebrating Texas Capital’s award of a $1 million grant to support the development of the new park.

The grant will facilitate the construction of “The Texas Capital Landing,” the park’s highest elevation, which will offer panoramic views of downtown Dallas and an elevated open plaza surrounding the rainwall.

Currently, the bridge itself and the foundations of the park are completed – then design elements such as a platform, green areas and walking paths will be added.

The city of Dallas began planning the park before the pandemic. Part of the construction included extensive work to build a bridge near Lancaster Avenue, connecting one part of Oak Cliff to another around the Dallas Zoo.

A visualization of the first stage of the Southern Gateway Terrace Park showing the planned multi-use building and area for food trucks.

Once the bridge is completed, construction work will begin soon to make the area more walkable and livable for the community.

“It will bring significant development. Not only will it connect communities, but it will also attract many businesses to south Dallas, which will also create jobs. So it’s great for the neighborhood and great for the community,” said Rob Holmes, president and CEO of Texas Capital.

The park also received key support from the federal government through the Reconnecting Communities program, designed to mitigate the harm done to communities when interstate highways cut through poor and minority neighborhoods decades ago.

During the 20th century, the federal government built a system of highways across the country and through major American cities. Freeways were key to the growing suburbs, allowing people to live in the Dallas area and commute to jobs in the city and beyond. However, roads were also built over homes and properties in parts of Dallas, including Oak Cliff.

“This is the first step towards improving the situation. Improving the situation of residents, without making anyone else’s situation worse. And that’s what we have to do today,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg during an April trip to Dallas. “The communities that felt the brunt of these disruptions were the same communities that, at the time, did not have the political power or resources to stop, transform, or change these projects.”

April Allen, president and CEO of the Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation, participated in a ceremonial concrete pouring Tuesday to celebrate the new Texas landing. She said it’s exciting to see the pace moving toward the finish line to complete the project.

“There’s a reason we call it a park. Because it’s not just about green space, but about connecting neighborhoods that were divided during the construction of the highway,” she said. “And hopefully catalysing and spurring economic development and investment that we haven’t seen in this part of town in a long time.”

Construction on Southern Gateway Park is expected to be completed in 2026, the same year that North Texas prepares to host the FIFA World Cup.

By meerna

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