Dallas given $50 million for Trinity River park

- The widow of a Dallas billionaire is ready to give $50 million to get the Trinity River Park project finally moving.

The centerpiece of the project would be a park and a roadway on the banks of the Trinity River near Downtown Dallas. The plans were approved by Dallas voters years ago. Since then there has been lots of talk, but no action.

Annette Simmons gave the city the first installment of $10 million and will approve the rest if and when the project moves forward. Her husband, the late Harold Simmons, was a well-known Dallas businessman and philanthropist.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said Monday the donation will help turn the park’s concept into a concrete plan.

“It was something that made me very happy for the citizens of Dallas to know that this was something they wanted for years and now we can actually make it happen. It was one of the great days of me being mayor,” he said.

The park still has a ways to go before construction can begin. Its actual cost hasn’t even been determined.

There was no mention Monday of the proposed Trinity Parkway toll road or how it fits into the park plan. Rawlings said that’s a discussion for another time.

He hopes to schedule a public input forum by the end of the year or early next year.

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