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Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program Awards NCTCOG $80M

ARLINGTON, TX — In partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has been awarded $80 million to help fund the Bridging Highway Divides for DFW Communities project, which is dedicated to reconnecting communities in the region.

The project will create four pedestrian caps in regionally significant locations. These locations are Interstate Highway 30 (Dallas IH 30), which will receive $20 million of the award, Klyde Warren Park will receive $20 million, Southern Gateway Park will receive $25 million, and State Highway 5 (McKinney SH 5) will receive $15 million of the federal award.

The Dallas IH 30 project will include the installation of support structures for three pedestrian caps/parks, which will be phase constructed across the interstate. These caps will be located directly south of the Dallas Farmers Market and directly north of Old City Park. The timing of the construction of this infrastructure will align with TxDOT’s reconstruction of IH 30 to avoid taxpayers paying twice to retrofit the needed structures later.

The Klyde Warren and Southern Gateway Parks project will be for the second phase of construction for both existing pedestrian crossings. In Klyde Warren Park, phase two will extend an existing pedestrian cap/deck park, creating additional space between Pearl Street and west of Akard Street. The completed space will include a pavilion, open-air market/festival staging area, indoor/outdoor entertainment areas, public green space, and additional multimodal transportation access.

“Here at Klyde Warren Park we are thrilled with the news,” said Chairman Jody Grant of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. “This grant will allow us to complete our dream by adding 1.7 acres to the park.”

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The second phase in Southern Gateway Park will see the expansion of its current deck park located from South Ewing Avenue to South Marsalis Avenue. The expanded park deck will cover more than five acres over I-35E. The final space will see the creation of a festival stage area, a pavilion, multi-use and open green space, interactive water features, a bicycle/pedestrian bridge with direct access to the Dallas Zoo, and additional multimodal transportation access.

McKinney SH 5 will see the construction of the Lower 5 Plaza, which will include a below-bridge pedestrian plaza within the corridor that will allow pedestrian access to both sides and re-knit the community while addressing the highway’s damaging effects. This space will provide a safe bicycle/pedestrian connection between Historic Downtown McKinney and the disadvantaged East McKinney neighborhoods; additionally, it will connect Downtown McKinney to the future City Hall.

“The funding awarded by the federal government allows us to connect our community across State Highway 5 and link what has been a divide between our prosperous historic downtown and legacy neighborhoods," Mayor of McKinney George Fuller said.

The initial creation of all four highways capped by this project disrupted and displaced local communities, removed historical landmarks and resulted in the unequal distribution of resources, leaving one side of the highway more prosperous. “These projects are intended to help bridge those divides,” said NCTCOG Senior Program Manager Karla Windsor, whose team authored the application.

The ability to move forward with the Bridging Highway Divides for DFW Communities project highlights continued collaboration throughout the state and region. This grant is funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. The money is part of a total $3.15 billion being awarded throughout the country by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program.

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