Dallas Neighborhoods To Reconnect After Taxpayer Grant

Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park | Image by Marriott

Three connectivity projects in Dallas have received a boost in funding after the North Central Texas Council of Governments received a federal grant of $80 million in taxpayer money.

As part of the Bridging Highway Divides for DFW Communities initiative, which is funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, the taxpayer money will be used to “create pedestrian caps in regionally significant locations,” such as Klyde Warren Park, I-30, Southern Gateway Park, and State Highway 5 in McKinney, according to a news release.

Klyde Warren and I-30 each received $20 million in allocations. Southern Gateway received a $25 million award, and the McKinney project was awarded $15 million.

“The money is part of a total $3.15 billion being awarded throughout the country by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program,” the release reads. “The Dallas IH 30 project will include the installation of support structures for three pedestrian caps/parks, which will be phase constructed across the interstate.”

The caps will be built south of the Dallas Farmers Market and north of Old City Park. The timing of the construction will coincide with the Texas Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of I-30 “to avoid taxpayers paying twice to retrofit the needed structures later.”

The Klyde Warren and Southern Gateway projects represent the second phase of construction of existing pedestrian crossings. At the former, Phase 2 will extend a cap and deck park to create more space between Pearl Street and Akard Street, providing a festival staging area, pavilion, indoor-outdoor entertainment areas, green space, and multimodal transportation access.

“This project reflects the strong partnership of the Regional Transportation Council and the City of Dallas,” Dallas City Council Member Omar Narvaez (District 6) said in the release.

For Southern Gateway, the second phase involves the expansion of the existing deck park between South Ewing Avenue and South Marsalis Avenue. It will encompass more than five acres over I-35 East.

“The final space will see the creation of a festival stage area, a pavilion, multi-use and open green space, interactive water features, a bicycle/pedestrian bridge with direct access to the Dallas Zoo, and additional multimodal transportation access,” according to the release.

Dallas City Council Member Carolyn King Arnold (District 4) said the project “will not only reknit the community but bring economic development to the southern sector.”

The construction of Lower 5 Plaza on State Highway 5 in McKinney will include a below-bridge pedestrian plaza in the corridor to allow pedestrian access to both sides and reconnect the community.

“This space will provide a safe bicycle/pedestrian connection between Historic Downtown McKinney and the disadvantaged East McKinney neighborhoods,” the release reads. “Additionally, it will connect Downtown McKinney to the future City Hall.”

Initially, the creation of the four highways “disrupted and displaced local communities, removed historical landmarks, and resulted in “the unequal distribution of resources, leaving one side of the highway more prosperous,” per the news release.

“These projects are intended to help bridge those divides,” NCTCOG senior program manager Karla Windsor said in the release.

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