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Construction milestone for new Dallas I-35 park – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas is one step closer to a new bridge park in the city.

The I-35 deck park being built near the Dallas Zoo made a major contribution Tuesday morning as construction continues to complete the future Southern Gateway Park.

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

The grant will facilitate construction of “The Texas Capital Landing,” the park’s highest point, featuring panoramic views of downtown Dallas and an elevated open plaza surrounding a rainwall water feature.

Currently, the bridge itself and the foundation for the park are completed. Next come the added design elements such as the landing, green space and walking paths.

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

A rendering of phase one of the Southern Gateway deck park showing the planned multi-use building and a dedicated area for food trucks.

Now that the bridge is complete, construction work can begin soon to make the area more walkable and livable for the community.

“This will bring a lot of development. Not only will it bring communities together, but it will attract a lot of businesses to South Dallas, which will also bring jobs. So it’s great for this neighborhood and great for the community,” Rob said Holmes, president and CEO of Texas Capital.

The park has also received significant support from the federal government as part of the Reconnecting Communities program, aimed at limiting the damage to communities when highways plowed through poor and minority neighborhoods decades ago.

In the 20th century, the federal government built the road network throughout the country and through major American cities. The freeways were critical to the growing suburbs, allowing people to live around Dallas and commute to work in and out of the city. However, the roads were also built over homes and properties in parts of Dallas, including Oak Cliff.

“It’s the first step to doing things better. To make residents better off without leaving anyone worse off. That’s what we’re going to do today,” said United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg during a trip to Dallas in April. “The communities that bore the brunt of this disruption were the same communities that at the time did not have the political power or resources to stop, reform or change these projects.”

April Allen, president and CEO of the Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation, participated in the ceremonial pouring of concrete Tuesday to mark the new Texas Capital Landing. She said it’s exciting to see the momentum toward the finish line to complete the project.

“We call this a park with a purpose. Because it’s not just about a green space, but about connecting these neighborhoods that were divided when the highway was built,” she said. “And hopefully catalyze and stimulate the kind of economic development and investment that we haven’t seen in this part of the city in a while.”

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