Kim Flom recalls the idea for a deck park in McKinney’s downtown area originated in 2014. It was later brought up in 2020 and officially pursued in 2021 after a feasibility study, according to a McKinney Courier-Gazette article. They say,
“When it comes to the original idea of bringing a “deck park” to McKinney’s downtown area, Kim Flom will take you all the way back to 2014.
That was when the city did a corridor study on State Highway 5 in response to the fact that the Texas Department of Transportation was planning to do reconstruction on the roadway. At the time, pedestrian connectivity was highlighted as a key topic, said Flom, McKinney’s assistant city manager. Then, in 2020, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, city staff gave a presentation to the city council about open spaces in the cultural district. That was when the idea of a deck park was brought up, Flom said.”
The proposed deck park under Highway 5 was deemed costly, requiring property acquisition and impacting mobility, despite public support for the idea, according to a Dallas Morning News article. They say,
“The first option included a deck park that would put Highway 5 underneath a 2-acre open space at-grade with Virginia and Louisiana streets. However, city staff recommended that while the deck park would provide ample green space, it would require considerable property acquisition, reduce east to west mobility and require more money with less funding opportunities.
The deck park would cost $85 to $95 million with annual operations and maintenance costing up to $2.5 million.
“While we have a lot of members of the public say that they love the deck park, they would also say we want to make sure we’re very cost conscious, and those two things don’t align completely,” assistant city manager Kim Flom said during the meeting.”
According to Flom, the deck park project does not hinder other efforts to improve connectivity on State Highway 5. The focus remains on enhancing crossings along the corridor.