Clearing the Air About the New Tunnel Beneath the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park

The Woodall Rodgers Deck Park is still a good year from opening; as you can see in the construction-cam screengrab of moments ago, there are still 64 concrete crossbeams in need of installation, and that won't happen till October. Crews will spend the summer waterproofing, and fireproofing, the deck. The Woodall Rodgers Deck Park Foundation says about 40 percent of that work's complete.

In the meantime, Chad Sour, who's handling PR for the park, answers a question many Friends of Unfair Park ask every time we bring up the deck park: How will they clear the air in the tunnel being created where once there was a canyon? "In October, workers will complete the installation of 32 jet fans that will be monitored and controlled by computers at all times to protect air quality," he says via email. I called for further clarification, and he said they'll be similar to what's in place in the Addison Airport Toll Tunnel.

"Because if there's a fire in the tunnel, they need to get smoke out of there fast, or if there's a carbon monoxide warning, they'll be triggered," he says. "Computers will constantly monitor the air quality, and if they need to clean the air, they'll turn on."

Meanwhile, Woodall Rodgers Deck Park Foundation President Linda Owen says, in a release, that come fall it'll start to look like a park, swear: "Soon we'll see the arrival of trees and plants, lawns and trellis, and it will be unmistakably clear what a transformational space our community has created." I left her a message for more precise time lines. But, in short: Patience, people.

Update at 1:16 p.m.: Says Owen, "'Soon' is a relative term when you've been working on this as long as I have." She laughs. But she says "we'll start seeing trees along the edges of the park this fall. We'll wait for the weather to improve, but I hope by October, November we'll see some trees installations across the edges. Pretty soon, and on the west end. But we're not quite there yet." And the reason they haven't installed the rest of the beams: They're still lighting up the tunnel, in addition to installing the fans.

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