Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
It's been a long time coming, but Dallas' Klyde Warren Park will open this weekend in downtown.
After years of work, the Klyde Warren Park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas opens this weekend.
Concerts and many activities are planned Saturday and Sunday but there will also be daily activities through November.
"Klyde Warren Park is a place of discovery," said Mark Banta, park foundation president.
"You can't step in from the edge and say, 'I've seen the park,'" he said. "You have to walk around to every room and find out what's going on next. You layer on to that four or five programs, and there's always something to do or see."
Private donations provided the park's fancy extra features, such as a concert stage that the city could not afford on its own.
A restaurant will open in the park in 2013.
"This almost perfect 50/50 split has been amazing, and it's the reason I'm here in Dallas to help build this park," Banta said.
He came from Atlanta, where he managed Olympic Park.
One thing Klyde Warren Park does not have is its own parking lot, but some 9,000 spaces are in nearby lots and garages. Also, the McKinney Trolley runs through the park, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit rail stations are nearby.
Neighbors and downtown workers who are anxious to use the park said they are not worried about parking.
"Being a suburbanite, I'll be more inclined to come down here with my family on the weekends as well," said downtown worker Brian Kowalchyk. "I think that's what it's intended for. I think it's a great addition."
The park constructed over a Woodall Rodgers Freeway tunnel is also intended to bridge the gap between Uptown and Downtown Dallas and unite the two areas as one.
"We've literally flown the green space over the freeway, so we've captured area that's never been captured before," Banta said. "In the meantime, we have the benefits from the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, all these wonderful amenities, all within walking distance of this great green space."
It also provides a new open gathering space for neighbors, even went there are no activities under way.
"The donors really helped, and it just shows what a great city Dallas is, to have people write checks like that," downtown worker Steve Massanelli said. "You don't overpay for greatness, and this is a great thing that we have downtown."