HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Friday morning for the brand-new Kinder Land Bridge and Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Prairie at Houston's Memorial Park.
After 10 years of planning and construction, the land bridge is set to open with the Biggest Picnic in Texas on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m.
READ MORE: Memorial Park land bridge and prairie grand opening tops weekend events
"The project took two years," Shellye Arnold, president of the Memorial Park Conservancy, said. "We broke ground in August of 2020 and now were in February of 2023, so a little over two years."
Comprised of green infrastructure, the land bridge introduces a 100-acre area for Houstonians to explore and enjoy, provides a safe crossing for park users, reconnects wildlife corridors, and helps manage storm water.
"This project is not just about creating a passage or a bridge. This project is about ecology, it's about resiliency, it's about biodiversity, storm water management. This project is a bridge into Houston's future," Arnold said.
The tunnels on Memorial Drive opened last May, and now the land bridge is the final piece, where visitors now have a safe and beautiful way to cross.
A special tunnel for animals to cross safely was also incorporated into the design.
It also added 45 acres of native Gulf Coast prairie to the area and improved the city's biodiversity.
"The gathering spaces atop each mound where we stand today offer never before seen views of Uptown and downtown," Thomas Woltz, landscape architect, said.
The ribbon cutting kicks off the grand opening before the big party celebrating the park.
The free event will feature picnic baskets with free treats, live music, body art, face painting, and more. There will be additional food and drinks available for purchase.
SEE ALSO: Memorial Park hosts 'Biggest Picnic in Texas' to celebrate land bridge grand opening