Take a ride on The Connection that will one day link the Katy Trail to the Trinity Strand Trail.
Thursday May 10, 2012 Dallas Morning News – by Robert Wilonsky
A little while ago the Friends of the Trinity Strand Trail used Twitter to direct our attention to its latest online newsletter, which contains a video I hadn’t seen before –one that shows how the Trinity Strand Trail will connect with the Katy Trail, a project long in the works.
I couldn’t reach anyone with the Trinity Strand, but did get Jana Tidwell on the phone. She’s at Arlington-based Schrickel, Rollins & Associates — and she designed what’s referred to as The Connection. And as she explains, the master-planning for this particular project has been no easy feat: She says it’s taken eight months to complete, which is longer than usual, but this is an unusual project.
“We’ve nicknamed it ‘Threading the Needle,’ because that’s what it was,” she says, referring to the fact it runs from the Katy Trail Victory Overlook, travels past $2 million worth of donated land at Goat Hill and over Houston Street, winds its way underneath Stemmons Freeway and Oak Lawn Avenue and finally hits the Trinity Strand somewhere near the original Trinity River channel.
Tidwell also notes that she and the team had to take into account not only Stemmons, but also the Dallas North Tollway and DART light rail lines and other planned highway expansions and new ramps, which are included on the map that gives you a better idea of where this thing starts and ends.
“There’s a wasteland of highways there, which is a big obstacle,” Tidwell says. “So we came up with a solution that would have a trail that would weave itself in between those highway bridges and spiral down to the ground. … It’s a very important connection for the city to make, because it connects downtown, Uptown, the Design District and the Trinity River parks. It would allow them to link a bunch of connections within the city.”Who knew that pieces of P.C. Cobb Stadium still exist all these years later?(Courtesy Bryan Amann)
Tidwell says the video’s been done since last year, but that the Friends groups are now ready to share their “vision” for the connection. Now all they have to do is raise the money: It’s guesstimated to run around $18 million, which will come from private funds and city bond money. And it was supposed to be ready go to by … 2010.
Tidwell does share one intriguing tidbit: The Connection will run through some of what used to be P.C. Cobb Stadium, which was razed in ’85. Turns out, though, the Crows kept some of the old joint, and some of Cobb’s remnants will be used for The Connection’s retaining walls. Says Tidwell, “I thought it was so neat the Crow family preserved some of the history that was there.”