The facelift at Memorial Park continues. Just days after unveiling the brand new 100-acre Clay Family Eastern Glades, construction has begun for the Land Bridge and Prairie project, the next phase of the park’s 10-year master plan for renovations.
The new land bridge, expected to be completed in late 2022, will “reunite the north and south sides of the Park by creating a land bridge over Memorial Drive to create a dynamic new community space and enhance recreation opportunities for Park users,” according to a news release from the park.
Yes, you read that right. The land bridge will go over Memorial Drive and create 25 acres of green space over the busy street. The bridge also includes nearly 50 existing acres on the park’s south side that will allow for the expansion of the trail system through a restored native coastal prairie and wetlands section.
“The prairie restoration, which adjoins the Land Bridge, re-introduces endangered native Gulf Coast prairie and additional wetlands to areas north and south of Memorial Drive. A new network of trails will provide safe crossing for people and wildlife. Both prairie and wetlands serve important habitat and stormwater management functions and are a key part of the Park’s ecological restoration to ensure resiliency,” the statement reads.
Memorial Park as well as Memorial Drive will remain open throughout the construction of the Land Bridge.
The team carrying out this project says some of the benefits include:
- Greater safety and connectivity throughout the park
- Restoration of endangered native Gulf Coast prairie and wetlands
- Improved stormwater management
- More space for visitors to enjoy in the city with opportunities for nature education, walking, cycling, or just relaxing
You can learn more about the new Land Bridge and Prairie project on Memorial Park’s website.