A deck park over Interstate 35 connecting north Oak Cliff with the Dallas Zoo area is closer to becoming a reality.

The proposal to build a deck park as part of the $605-million Southern Gateway Project, which will widen and reconfigure Interstates 35 and 67, came from neighbors. The idea quickly gained traction, and the city’s transportation committee gave the proposal preliminary approval Monday, sending it to the full City Council for consideration in June.

Having an Oak Cliff version of Klyde Warren Park could unite neighborhoods torn apart when I-35 was built in the ’50s and create economic opportunities in our neighborhoods.

The proposal faces two hurdles, however. First, it will cost $78 million, funding for which has not been identified. And second, a recent study suggests that exposure to highway pollutants can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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The projected total cost to build a deck park at Marsalis, the favored of four suggested locations, is $118,213,980. The Regional Transportation Council would pitch in $40 million, leaving more than $78 million to be funded by the city and private donors.

City Councilwoman Sandy Greyson was the only committee member voting against the proposal Monday.

“Where are we going to get $78 million?” she asked.

Greyson said she would give the proposal more consideration before the City Council vote on June 22.

City Councilman Phillip Kingston brought up the pollution angle. Is it wise to put an expensive public park over a highway?

“We have got to examine whether we’ve got a potential public health problem related to this,” he said.

Find today’s briefing on the Southern Gateway project and the proposed deck park here.