Below, unhappy Friend of Unfair Park Ben notes in the comments that the Dallas Wave (formerly known as the Standing Wave) is off-limits -- meaning, you can wave adios to that May 7 dedication ceremony that's been on the books since last fall. Willis Winters, second-in-command at Park and Rec, confirms: Says the architect and historian, Park and Rec was told late last week by city officials spearheading the Trinity River Corridor Project that construction on the Santa Fe Trestle Trail would necessitate closing the whitewater feature till, at the earliest, mid-August.
"They determined it's an issue of public safety," says Winters. "They want to keep kayakers out at least till the overhead work's done on the trestle. Apparently, they've already had some run-ins between kayakers and contractors." Right now, Winters says, the city hopes to reopen the Dallas Wave on August 15.
"We asked them to do the overhead work so they can get out of the way and we can see if we can let the kayakers in there before then," Winter says. "I'd hate to lose the entire summer."
Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan, who oversees Trinity Watershed Management, tells Unfair Park that "it's an active construction site, and we didn't want anybody to get hurt. We've had issues with people not realizing that little cars and big equipment can't compete with each other, and we don't want any incidents. They might use the river to go on through, but we don't want them bringing their cars and hanging out while construction's going on."
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Winters says the city's about to lock the gate at the 8th Street entrance and put up a sign that'll break the bad news to kayakers.
For what it's worth, when asked if she's disappointed by the turn of events, Jordan said, emphatically: "Absolutely."
City Hall officials working on the Trinity project also note: Though the river's technically "closed" between Sylvan Avenue and Cedar Crest, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will still "unveil" the Dallas Trinity Paddling Trail as scheduled on May 10, with the entire event taking place at Trammell Crow Park (which is also about to get closed down for a good long while). Says Judy Schmidt at Dallas City Hall, it's not like you can just close the Trinity: "It is an open river, after all."