Yesterday the Texas Department of Transportation briefed the full Dallas City Council about the various options for dealing with I-345. The day prior, the Dallas Morning News had published a poorly reasoned editorial arguing that we should basically keep the elevated highway as it is (shoring it up, removing some on- and off-ramps).
Last night, the paper’s City Hall reporter, Everton Bailey Jr., published his story about the TxDOT briefing to Council. The confusing way in which it was written—as if Bailey organized his story by pulling from a shuffled deck of flash cards bearing the words “demolish,” “remove,” “hybrid,” and “boulevard“—leads me to believe he doesn’t fully grasp the topic.
I want to focus just on his first paragraph: “If Interstate 345 were to be demolished, Dallas would likely have to pay for it.”
That’s simply not true. TxDOT refers to its boulevard option (which it doesn’t prefer) as removing the highway—which Bailey equates with demolishing it. If we want a boulevard, it does appear we’d have to pay for it.
But you’d also have to demolish the elevated highway if you want to lower it into a canyon (like Woodall Rodgers or Central Expressway). That is TxDOT’s preferred option, and it will pay to do it. The city would likely be on the hook for something in that scenario—but not the demolition of the highway. The city would have to pay for a deck park, if one were built, and some landscaping and so forth.
Again, if I-345 is demolished, the city of Dallas will not have to pay to do that.
Our Matt Goodman will be along in a bit with his own report on yesterday’s TxDOT briefing. Stay tuned.