The long awaited park along the Trinity River took another step forward Wednesday.
The Dallas City Council will vote next week to hand over the creation of the Harold Simmons Park to a management group.
The 3-member team leading the project will help transform the $50 million donation from Annette Simmons into the beginning of the estimated $250 million, 285-acre park.
It’s an ambitious plan to unite North and South and for years has always included a feature many did not like.
The Trinity Toll road, and more recently, a scaled down parkway, is a concept that has divided the city for two decades for a variety of reasons.
Funding was always an issue and, more recently, a demonstrable lack of need sealed its fate.
“This road, it’s just a road without a purpose,” councilmember Scott Griggs said.
Mayor Mike Rawlings on Wednesday said it’s time to move on.
“Let’s go do something constructive down in the Trinity and not build a toll road or parkway because I don’t think the city wants that at this point,” Rawlings said.
But Dallas does need to find a way to move people down the busy corridor where Hwy 183 and I-35E come together, an area that traffic studies indicated only would have received marginal relief had a toll road been built.
TXDOT says finding a way to increase capacity on the Lowest Stemmons portion of I-35E is now a top priority.
“There’s really two options for us,” Vandergriff said. “That is to increase lanes which means taking land to do it or elevate a portion of that.”
But the days of Dallas trying to marry the ultimate odd couple, a signature park with a roadway, are over.
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