Can We All at Least Agree That Interstate 30 Should Be Buried?

The highway was built through the heart of Dallas, and the resulting wound persists.

This monster needs to be driven underground.
This monster needs to be driven underground.

We read the comments. We know that not all of you are yet on board with the notion of tearing out Interstate 345 in order to reunite downtown with Deep Ellum and reap the benefits of a development boom.

But what about the proposal to take Interstate 30 below the surface streets between Samuell Boulevard and Central Expressway? Throw a couple of nifty deck parks on top to create a grand entrance to Fair Park? As Zac writes in the May issue of D Magazine:

Burying I-30 would help restitch the city grid and, just as important, remove the visual impediment, the door we slammed shut on this area in the 1960s. It would pave the way for a return of the black and white middle class. People want to move back to the city. The development that has been moving down Henderson Avenue wants to keep going. Billions of investment dollars and millions in uncollected property tax revenue are waiting.

Who can possibly object to this idea? OK, OK, yeah, we don’t know how it’s getting paid for either. But we’ve got to start with the vision, don’t we?


  • billholston

    one question: No plans there to tear down or really alter the existing old historic buildings, right. Because I’d have to oppose for no other reason that impacting Craft and Growler or Meridian Room.

  • Peter Simek

    I object. It should be torn out and rerouted around the south of the city. Zac’s article says that’s too expensive. I say we just use Monopoly money. Isn’t that how cities pay for things anyway?

  • pr1

    Why not just get rid of it like 345?

  • zaccrain

    That piece originally included a complicated joke about how to pay for it, but it was ditched in editing. At any rate, I agree with re-routing.

  • Ed Woodson

    Re-routing or burying is fine in my book, if you can find the money for it. I will caution, however, that Wick’s planned new route (IIRC) went through a river basin or wetlands or something, so expect environmentalists to object. Remember the Bush extension?

  • Porck

    Of course… “we want (fill in the idea here), but we don’t know how to pay for it. Typical. That’s why taxes keep going up. And that’s why i moved away after 20 years in Dallas. Keep it up.

  • TheSlowPath

    Frontburner should act like a DVD of extras for the magazine. I want to see the director’s cut of that article, or at least post the joke here.

  • TheSlowPath

    Do you have examples of GOOD infrastructure ideas wherein a city government just had a huge pile of cash they found in a jeans pocket and then came up with a way to spend it?

    This is how infrastructure works: idea, discussion, back of a napkin design, little bit of funding, maybe some political attention, more discussion, 20% design, lots more discussion, lots and lots and lots of politiking, funding, 100% design, politicains in hard hats with golden shovels, real construction.

    If you don’t think it’s a good idea or you think it’s not worth anything close to the estimated costs, fine. Good, or whatever. But this is like your wife mentioning that yall should go to Paris for a special anniversary in 5-10 years and you yelling at her that there’s no money for that right now.

  • GHB

    Actually, there is talk of rerouting I-30 through some of the eastern suburbs (Mesquite, Sunnyvale, etc). I’ve heard this has legs.

  • Bizarro Big Tex

    At this point in the discussion, I wondered about demolishing all the elevated portions of interstates bracketing downtown (I-35 N & S and I-30 E & W and US 75 / I-45 N & S). Just put everyone on surface streets and watch the central business district economy explode with new development opportunities. Sorry, did that for my own amusement.

  • Peter Simek


  • zaccrain

    Here you go:

    “Now, a great way to correct this mistake would be to re-route I-30 around South Dallas, hewing close to the natural pathway of the Trinity River floodplain. In order for that to actually happen, though, some civic-minded Dallasite would have to win the Powerball lottery, take his or her winnings to Vegas, bring at least three casinos to to the brink of financial ruin with an epic blackjack run, use the proceeds from that Vegas trip as an angel investment for the next Facebook, sit tight for a few years until the company goes public in a record-setting IPO, cash out, then decide to spend the bulk of this personal fortune on re-routing the highway. So, I-30 is probably staying where it is.”

    I said it was a joke. Didn’t stipulate that it was funny.

  • JohnG

    Burying it, unlike your publisher’s hairbrained idea to simply “tear it down” is a fanstatic idea, funding permitting. Elminiate the barrier, maintain the traffic handling capability and connectivity.

  • Lorlee

    Don’t, however, go with the 20 lane monstrosity they were proposing a few years ago before they ran out of money. In all those discussions, they kept asking the question “How do we move cars”, not “How do we move people.” As my old math teacher said, Any fool can figure out the answer, Framing the question is the hard part. If Mesquite doesn’t want mass transit — let them sit in the traffic of their own making.

  • Expat Bostonian

    How to fund? Easy. Get top Texas US Rep elected as speaker, earmark the underestimated funds and brace for the over-runs. Oh, and have a significant portion of the project named after the Speaker. See: (Boston) Big Dig, specifically, the ‘Tip O’Neill’ tunnel.

  • pr1

    That’s a good idea. Only rednecks and vagrants live in those hell holes.