Workers race to complete Dallas' most unique park

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on October 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 5:44 PM

Klyde Warren Park

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DALLAS — In less than a week, Dallas will be opening a major new attraction with wine and wi-fi.

Klyde Warren Park is destined to become a downtown Dallas landmark.

The idea to build a landscaped park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway had people scratching their heads more than a decade ago. But now, that dream is just days from reality.

It's a mad dash to the finish so the park can be ready for the big grand opening on Saturday; workers will be on overtime until then.

"We are in the sprint stage of construction," explained program director Keith Bjerke. "This is where we are going to be working seven days a week, day and evening."

The performance pavilion is the focus of some of that attention. "We're getting some last-minute electrical work done there so we can be ready for the performances," Bjerke said.

The park will include 322 trees, 904 shrubs and more than 3,200 plants.

"The park is perfectly located," said park president Mark Banta. "You know the old saying, 'Location, location, location?' It has that, and because it's recaptured space that wasn't usable before, it's already got these tremendous amenities and facilities around us."

Klyde Warren Park boosters hope that proximity to downtown, the Dallas Arts District, the West End and Victory Park will draw visitors from all over.

"It's just going to be a natrual pedestrian mover; it will be a natural circulator; and it just provides a place for people to come and gather," Banta said.

Parking will be a challenge, with only 23 spaces available — and two of those will be used by food trucks. So if you want to visit, DART is going to be the best bet.

Construction crews just hope it all comes together in the next six days.

Those who are running the show say everything should be ready. Dallas residents have waiting a long time to see this project completed.

Klyde Warren Park is officially open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday. Then there will be a concert featuring the Polyphonic Spree, followed by a fireworks show. Tickets for that event, however, are no longer available.

You can, however, check out more activities in the park on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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