Katy Trail – Phase III Construction Begins
If you’ve driven down McCommas Boulevard lately, you’ve seen the construction going on. This is the newest link constructed by the City of Dallas that will eventually connect the Katy Trail with the White Rock Lake trails. A dedicated lane is being constructed for users to continue north by crossing North Central Expressway via the McCommas Boulevard overpass.
Eventually, a suspension bridge will be built over Mockingbird Lane, making for easier access to the Katy Trail and providing longer distances for cyclists' routes.
New entrances open on Katy Trail
Two new entrances to the Katy Trail are now open. The recently completed Beasley Entrance at Hall Street is a sweeping staircase that allows walkers and runners convenient access to the Trail, instead of the scrambling up a hill as before. The lushly landscaped entrance is a gift from the Theodore and Beulah Beasley Foundation.
The Tao of Warren is on the west side of the Trail at Armstrong Boulevard and was dedicated on Jan. 1. It is a dual staircase flanking a round seating wall and plaza. Sarah and Jim Hutcheson with their son Nathan made the naming gift in the memory of their son Warren, who was killed at 19 in a car accident.
Currently under construction is the new entrance at Blackburn Street, which will give West Village-area residents convenient access to the Trail. Dallas Park and Recreation Department is supervising this project, with input from Friends of the Katy Trail. The Cityplace TIF provided the money needed to build this entrance, tentatively called the West Village Entrance.
During 2009, Friends of the Katy Trail initiated construction on five new entrances called for in the Friends of the Katy Trail Master Plan. These projects cost a total of $2.1 million in private funds that the Friends raised.
Plaza Framing Begins for Snyder's Union
The concrete for the new plaza at Snyder's Union has been poured. The plaza will overlook Lee Park at the mid-point on the Katy Trail. This $1.5 million construction project, generously funded by a $1 million gift from Bobbi & Dick Snyder as well as contributions from numerous other "friends" is on schedule to be completed by Thanksgiving. Thank you for your patience and courtesy as you navigate around the construction zone between Lemmon Avenue and Hall Street.
The plaza will feature granite benches, a three-tiered drinking fountain, and a trellis for shade. As a special feature, the plaza will have an extension off the front that will make you feel like you're up in the trees while also providing views of the spectacular water fountain in the Lee Park pond, some 40 feet below. The entire project will also improve the connection from Carlisle Place on the east side of the Katy Trail to provide better access for everyone.
A temporary asphalt trail has been built to get you safely around the construction zone from Lemmon Avenue to Hall Street. Please use caution as you travel through this section of the Trail, and please be aware of your fellow Trail users.
Dedo's Place Construction Update
Landscaping Begins at Dedo's Place
The final phase of the construction project near the north end of the Katy Trail has begun. Landscaping is underway for the plaza known as Dedo's Place in honor of long-time board member Dedo Kidd. Expect to see dirt being removed to prepare the beds for planting, and new dirt being brought in. The landscape company will also be adjusting the irrigation system to make sure all the sprinkler heads spread water exactly where it needs to be and provides complete coverage of the new plants.
Some of the existing vitex shrubs the ones with the bright purple blooms will be moved from the section between the two trails to the east side of the main trail. This will be one of the last things that takes place to help insure the survival of these beautiful shrubs. The very last thing to be added will be a specimen tree near the drinking fountain called a Big Tooth Maple. What? Never seen a Big Tooth Maple tree before? Check out one courtesy of our friends at Texas A&M by clicking here.
Thanks to Dedo & Barron Kidd for their lead gift on this $200,000 project. And additional thanks to the Ben E. Keith Foundation, Deedie & Rusty Rose, and the friends and co-workers of Tom Brown for their additional contributions.
The project is still on schedule to be completed by the end of the summer, with a dedication to follow in mid September.
Lee Park Project
This year will also see the construction of our Lee Park plaza, generously donated by Bobbi and Dick Snyder. (Don't worry, it won't be called Snyder Plaza.) Construction should begin in the second quarter and be completed by the holidays.
We're exhausted just thinking about all that work, but your Trail is going to be even better by the end of the year. Speaking of better. . . Have you thought about being a Better Friend? Or any Friend for that matter. Membership contributions pay for DPD bike patrols, electricity for the new lights, and water for the drinking fountains. Be a Friend today so you can help keep your Trail in tip top shape. Membership starts at only $50 a year.