An In-Depth Look at Dallas' Newest Parks.
Dallas has been on a pretty serious urban renewal kick lately: Currently, there are scores of projects brewing, in progress, or being completed all over the city.
The biggest source for all these projects? The Trinity River corridor. Planning began on this nearly $1.75 billion project as far back as 1998. Throughout all of this construction and planning, we have seen some pretty outlandish projects come and go, along with plenty of delays and false starts.
But the great part of this push to clean up everything and make it shiny and new is that we citizens get some new parks and places to hang out at.
The real Spruce Goose of the Trinity River renewal plan, however, is the Horse Park — but you'll notice we left it off our maps. The $30 million dollar project has been stalled for years and the future of it looks bleak. The original group tasked with getting the project going had two years to raise $15 million to match the city funds for it. They were only ever able to raise $1 million. The city then gave them an extension on the fundraising but it didn't do any good. Currently, the project has gone back to the city, who will begin taking applications this spring for a private vendor to come in and run the Horse Park. As of January, the city's goal is to have selected and awarded a contract to a vendor by May 2012. Don't hold your breath.
Along the lines of crossing the Trinity: We've all watched as they put up the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. It has become something of a local joke, but, whatever, it's finally done. Plus, it looks real pretty and, at some point, when they finish the off-ramps, it'll be open to traffic. If nothing else, it'll be the best way to get over to West Dallas to see those new Shephard Fairey murals. And it'll be replacing the old Continental Avenue bridge, which is going to become a “linear” park now that it's usefulness is out the window. Not unlike the Highline in New York City, the $10 million dollar project looks really promising and sounds like it could be a really great place to hang out. Plus, in the huge plan the city released there is a hint of recreational ziplines being a part of the park — and who doesn't like ziplines? Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as they move traffic over to the new bridge, and the Continental Bridge Park is tentatively scheduled to open in August 2013.
Looks like we have a lot to look forward to in 2012 and 2013. Better start learning to love your neighbors, Dallas residents. You're going to be seeing a whole lot more of them real soon.