Southern Gateway Park Is ‘On Track’ to Break Ground on Amenities This Spring for Phase One Opening Next Year

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson called it a “game-changing investment in the people and families of southern Dallas.” And there’s little doubt the Southern Gateway Park will be transformative once it opens as planned next year.

The 5.5-acre green space is being built over I-35E near The Dallas Zoo in southern Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood. The $172 million project will be Dallas’ second freeway deck park, with the same basic infrastructure as Klyde Warren Park, which bridges downtown and Uptown. But Southern Gateway Park, a public-private partnership aimed at revitalizing the area’s economy, will have some unique touches as well, including programming reflecting Oak Cliff’s rich history.

Breaking ground on amenities ‘later this spring’

Southern Gateway Park’s Phase One (right side above, including the hilltop-covered restaurant/retail complex at center) and Phase Two (upper left above). [Image: HKS]

“We are on track to break ground on the park’s amenities later this spring and open as scheduled in 2024,” a spokesperson for the Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation told WFAA this week. “Not one major donor has backed out of the project to date. In fact, we are set to announce an additional $3 million in new funding secured just since January 1.”

Infrastructure work on the first of its two phases was scheduled to be finished by December—the same month the park announced it would be getting $7.75 million from the FY 2023 omnibus spending bill signed into law by President Biden. The park isn’t the only local development nabbing federal funds for innovation and improvement. Following passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in 2021, the White House said in November that $13.9 billion of that money would be headed to Texas.

Among Dallas-Fort Worth projects slated to benefit are a zero-carbon power plant at DFW International Airport, new lanes for State Highway 121 in Collin County, and the extension of bicycle and pedestrian routes around several DART light-rail stations. 

David Seeley contributed to this report. A version of this story was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2023.

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