Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program Awards NCTCOG $80 Million

Money to be used to reconnect communities and address historical inequities
Carli Baylor
Brian Wilson
(Arlington, TEXAS) – In partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has been awarded $80 million to help fund the Bridging Highway Divides for DFW Communities project, which is dedicated to reconnecting communities in the region.

The project will create four pedestrian caps in regionally significant locations. These locations are Interstate Highway 30 (Dallas IH 30) which will receive $20M of the award, Klyde Warren Park also receiving $20M, Southern Gateway Park receiving $25M and State Highway 5 (McKinney SH 5), which will receive $15M of the federal award.

The Dallas IH 30 project will include the installation of support structures for three pedestrian caps/parks, which will be phase constructed across the interstate. These caps will be located directly south of the Dallas Farmers Market and directly north of Old City Park. The timing of the construction of this infrastructure will align with TxDOT’s reconstruction of IH 30 to avoid taxpayers paying twice to retrofit the needed structures later.

In response to the Deck Park over IH 30, Dallas City Council Member Omar Narvaez said, “This project reflects the strong partnerships of the Regional Transportation Council and the City of Dallas.”

The Klyde Warren and Southern Gateway Parks project will be for the second phase of construction for both existing pedestrian crossings. In Klyde Warren Park, phase two will extend an existing pedestrian cap/deck park creating additional space between Pearl Street and west of Akard Street. The completed space will include a pavilion, open-air market/festival staging area, indoor/outdoor entertainment areas, public green space and additional multimodal transportation access.

“Here at Klyde Warren Park we are thrilled with the news,” said Chairman Jody Grant of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation upon hearing the announcement. “This grant will allow us to complete our dream by adding 1.7 acres to the park.”

The second phase in Southern Gateway Park will see the expansion of its current deck park located from S. Ewing Ave. to S. Marsalis Ave. The expanded park deck will cover more than five acres over I-35E. The final space will see the creation of a festival stage area, a pavilion, multi-use and open green space, interactive water features, a bicycle/pedestrian bridge with direct access to the Dallas Zoo and additional multimodal transportation access.

“The funding will allow us to extend the deck park to phase 2 and will not only reknit the community but bring economic development to the Southern Sector,” said City of Dallas Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold in response to the grant award. 

McKinney SH 5 will see the construction of the Lower 5 Plaza, which will include a below-bridge pedestrian plaza within the corridor that will allow pedestrian access to both sides and reknit the community while addressing the highway’s damaging effects. This space will provide a safe bicycle/pedestrian connection between Historic Downtown McKinney and the disadvantaged East McKinney neighborhoods; additionally, it will connect Downtown McKinney to the future City Hall.

In response to the news of the funding Mayor of McKinney George Fuller stated, “The funding awarded by the federal government allows us to connect our community across State Highway 5 and link what has been a divide between our prosperous historic downtown and legacy neighborhoods.”  

The initial creation of all four highways capped by this project disrupted and displaced local communities, removed historical landmarks and resulted in the unequal distribution of resources, leaving one side of the highway more prosperous. “These projects are intended to help bridge those divides,” stated NCTCOG Senior Program Manager Karla Windsor, whose team authored the application.

The ability to move forward with the Bridging Highway Divides for DFW Communities project highlights continued collaboration throughout the State and region. Regional Transportation Council Chair, City of Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Gyna M. Bivens stated, “Reconnecting Communities is a great example of how the RTC partners with the federal government and local governments to create significant investment and opportunities for the Dallas-Fort Worth Region.”

This grant is funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. The money is part of a total $3.15 billion being awarded throughout the country by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program.

About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.

NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered in the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 229 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 19 school districts and 27 special districts. For more information on the Transportation Department, visit

About the Regional Transportation Council:
The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments has served as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for regional transportation planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1974. The MPO works in cooperation with the region’s transportation providers to address the complex transportation needs of the rapidly growing metropolitan area. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties. The RTC’s 45 members include local elected or appointed officials from the metropolitan area and representatives from each of the area’s transportation providers. More information can be found at