Construction of Dallas’ new deck park fell short by $20 million

“Not a single major donor has withdrawn from the project. In fact, we will be announcing an additional $3 million in new funding secured since January 1,” park directors said.

DALLAS — The president of Southern Gateway Park, the city’s newest public-private bridge park that will span the top of Interstate 35E in Oak Cliff, said the project is financially sound and will open on time, clarifying a statement from the mayor Per Tem Carolyn King Arnold over the weekend.

In Sunday’s Inside Texas Politics, Mayor Pro Tem Arnold said the park needs more money to complete construction.

“We probably need another $20 million,” Arnold said Sunday InsideTexas Politics.

But leaders from Southern Gateway Park said the $20 million she was referring to is for a future expansion of the bridge park, not the one currently under construction.

“It relates to phase 2 of the park. We are on track to open Phase 1 next year,” April Allen, Southern Gateway Park’s president and chief operating officer, wrote in a tweet on Sunday.

The Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation, the nonprofit organization responsible for the development, construction and future management of the bridge park, said it is targeting $20 million from Dallas’ next bond election to extend the bridge park south to the to expand Marsalis Avenue. This future expansion, known as Phase 2, is not scheduled to begin construction for another three to five years.

The $20 million in city bonds needed for the park’s second phase would match a federal grant that the North-Central Texas Governing Council is seeking for it.

But the first phase of the park, which will cover 2.8 hectares, is more than 85 percent funded and is scheduled to open early next year, a spokesman said.

“We are on track to break ground on the park’s facilities later this spring and open in 2024 as planned,” the spokesperson added. “So far, not a single major donor has withdrawn from the project. In fact, we will be announcing an additional $3 million in new funding secured just since January 1.”

In November 2021, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved a development agreement for a bridge park in Oak Cliff. It’s supposed to be similar Klyde Warren Park which sits above the Woodall Rogers Freeway downtown.

Local leaders and developers touted this second bridge park as a way to reunite Oak Cliff after Interstate 35E divided the community in the 1960s.

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/politics/inside-politics/texas-politics/construction-dallas-new-deck-park-short-20m/287-8651550b-7b2c-454a-9e43-d73528b4ea10 Construction of Dallas’ new deck park fell short by $20 million

Laura Coffey

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