The Trinity Trust shared its “dreams” for a future lake park between the Trinity River levees with City Council members Monday.
Those aspirations include pavilions, playgrounds, a kayak launch point, a spray park and a pop-up park inspired by the Oval in Philadelphia. The trust showed council members a slideshow proposing an estimated $76 million in amenities.
None of that is funded yet, but the Trinity Trust expects to ramp up fundraising very soon and briefed the city’s Transportation and Trinity River Project committee in advance. Construction is set to begin on the lakes this coming spring. As the major fundraiser for Trinity River parks, the trust would pay for all amenities in these lake parks between the levees.
Problem is, their dreams don’t line up with reality.
Council members criticized artist renderings that the trust’s president and CEO Gail Thomas presented with Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan.
The “scale and magnitude” of the Trinity Tollway is misrepresented, councilman Scott Griggs said.
Artistic drawings of the trust’s “dreams” show the toll road as four lanes, while official plans call for six-lanes. Also, barrier walls and obtrusive on-ramps aren’t shown.
The tollway shouldn’t be sold on “a lot of watercolors” that aren’t realistic, says Griggs, who helped push the Trinity Skyline Trail project forward.
“We need to be brutally honest with the citizens about what this is going to look like,” Griggs said.
The artist renderings also show groves of trees surrounding the lakes even though the Army Corps of Engineers prohibits trees from being planted in the flood way. However Jordan said some trees would be required to sustain water levels in the lakes and that the corps likely would allow trees near the lakes as long as their positioning is engineered properly.
The city already has funding to excavate and lay clay caps on two small lakes, about 8.5 acres and 14.5 acres respectively. By comparison, White Rock Lake is about 1,000 acres.
The larger lake would flow under the Commerce Bridge, its eastern edge nearing Interstate 30. The smaller lake would connect to that by a channel to the west, toward the Continental Bridge
A third lake also is conceptualized and would connect on the west side of the Continental Bridge lake.
Councilwoman Sandy Greyson questioned whether the third lake would be funded anytime soon, and Thomas admitted it was “really dreaming.”