Deck park fever is intensifying in Dallas, where it appears funding is aligning for a second deck park.
City and state officials have confirmed that the Regional Transportation Council has agreed to cover 80% of the estimated $50 million cost of a deck park over I-35E, near the Dallas Zoo, at the city's southern gateway.
Bids for that project would be opened in the summer of 2017, and the project completion would be in the summer 2021, according to the RTC.
"We found in Dallas that highways tend to divide communities," says Lee Kleinman, chair of the Dallas City Council's Transportation & Trinity River Project Committee. "Deck parks are great at joining them back together."
In a prepared statement, the RTC indicated it has been working with the Texas Dept. of Transportation, the City of Dallas and members of the community who think a deck park would boost economic development and beautify that portion of Southern Dallas.
Several locations across Dallas have been discussed as potential sites for deck parks, but Kleinman says the Southern Gateway deck park concept is taking a higher priority, given the RTC's agreement to apply regional toll funds and federal Transportation Alternatives Program revenue to the project.
TxDOT has already done a preliminary evaluation of options for the deck park, north of the zoo property, Kleinman says.
In the meantime, additional details for expanding the city's original $97 million, 5-acre deck park, the Klyde Warren Park, are trickling out.
Dallas Parks Dept. policy analyst and project manager Peter Bratt indicates that current plans would more than double the size of the current five-acre Klyde Warren Park, extending it westward to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
The expansion project cost has been estimated at between $80 million and $100 million.
Other deck park projects being discussed include: one that would bridge I-30 to connect Fair Park—home to the State Fair of Texas—to Dallas' historic Deep Ellum neighborhood; one that would connect Dallas' Cedars neighborhood to downtown Dallas over I-30; and a third in East Dallas, near Skillman bridging over the LBJ freeway.
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