Beam It Up: You're Invited to a Picnic Next Saturday, When Deck Park Begins Taking Shape

Beam It Up: You're Invited to a Picnic Next Saturday, When Deck Park Begins Taking Shape

A month ago

we noted

that Park and Rec had picked McCarthy Building Company to build the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park; yesterday, the city council added its okee-doke. Which is why, late last night, park officials sent word: The first batch of the 316 110-foot-long, Waco-made beams needed to constructify the park are on their way, and the very first one will be put in place October 23.

Accordingly, the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation has decided to turn the event into An Event: From 4 to 5 p.m. one week from Saturday it's come-one-come-all to a "family picnic and beams signing" event, with food provided by Sammy's Bar-B-Q. Also on the agenda, per the invite that follows: the St. Paul United Methodist Church gospel choir, a bounce house for the kiddies, and "a special beam, painted by local artist and Dallas Police officer Cat Lafitte and her team, will be displayed at the picnic before being placed over the freeway." Folks in attendance will be allowed to sign the sucker as well.

Says Linda Owen, park foundation president, in the release that follows, "New box beams surmounting the eight-lane, recessed freeway is a dramatic sight. We hope that this highly visible milestone will capture everyone's imagination. As we all watch The Park take shape, the Foundation will be seeking the final group of generous donors who will complete the vision and put their signature on this amazing Dallas landmark."

First Beams Cross Woodall Rodgers Freeway for The Park

DALLAS (Oct. 13, 2010) - The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation announced today the upcoming arrival of the first of 316 concrete crossbeams that will form the foundation for The Park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Contractor Archer Western will begin installing the beams over the freeway Sat. Oct. 23 in the evening following a picnic celebration with donors and the public.

TxDOT will aim to maintain optimum mobility, only allowing lane closures in off-peak hours such as nights and weekends. Archer Western will continue to install beams in batches steadily over the next several months.

"New box beams surmounting the eight-lane, recessed freeway is a dramatic sight," said Linda Owen, president of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. "We hope that this highly visible milestone will capture everyone's imagination. As we all watch The Park take shape, the Foundation will be seeking the final group of generous donors who will complete the vision and put their signature on this amazing Dallas landmark."

As construction progresses, the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation continues to raise capital to fund The Park's amenities, programs and endowment. Notable naming opportunities include the Children's Park, Great Lawn and Park Plazas.

The Park will create a deck over the freeway, consisting of concrete and pre-stressed box beams set on columns constructed outside the current walls of the freeway. Further support will be provided by the new center wall, which is currently 90 percent complete. There will be approximately 1,200 linear feet of freeway enclosed by the deck, forming a short tunnel. The concrete beams will be arranged in groups of three with spacing in between to allow for tree root wells and infrastructure. Concrete slabs will span the spaces between the beams, forming trenches that will allow the trees to grow to their full height and width.

To install the crossbeams, Archer Western will align two cranes on either side of the project, lifting the beam in tandem to place it in position between the newly constructed support columns and center wall. The crossbeams measure 110 feet in length and are manufactured in Waco.

"The beams are crossing the freeway in a way that enables The Park to be constructed at ground level, even with the adjacent streets and sidewalks," said Owen. "We are proud of this engineering feat because it will make The Park universally accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities."

During the installation of the crossbeams, slated for intermittent nights and weekends, the Texas Department of Transportation will close highway lanes. For full mobility information, please visit www.txdot.gov.

Dallas Police Officer Paints Mural on Beam, Public Invited To Sign Dallas Landmark

What: Family Picnic and Beams Signing: The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation will host a picnic celebration with donors and the public to commemorate the first beams' arrival. The beams will form the foundation of the deck park, and will begin to cross the freeway Saturday evening.

Guests will enjoy Sammy's BBQ, St Paul United Methodist Church gospel choir music, and a children's bounce house.

A special beam, painted by local artist and Dallas Police officer Cat Lafitte and her team will be displayed at the picnic, before being placed over the freeway. Park supporters and picnic guests will be invited to sign the beam, adding their name to a future Dallas landmark.

When: Saturday, Oct. 23 4-5 p.m.

Where: Corner of the 1950 block Routh Street and the Uptown side of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway access road (look for the tent and balloons).

Cost: Free and Open to the Public. Families Welcome!


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