New Trinity Canal Murmurings

Opponents of the defeated 1973 Trinity River channelization project are wondering if public hearings scheduled for this spring indicate the phoenix bird is stirring in its ashes. The hearings are slated to be held up and down the river basin this spring.

These hearings were approved by a Trinity River Authority Board sporting six new faces since the 1973 defeat. Eight more members are scheduled for appointment March 15, so we’re seeing the Old Guard, many of whom served for years, replaced.

Such a man was former TRA chairman Ben Carpenter, who took an unmerciful (and largely unfair) press beating during the 1973 campaign. Carpenter served on the board since 1955, but reportedly asked not to be reappointed, apparently figuring the canalization issue wouldn’t stand a chance with a wealthy Trinity landowner such as himself at the helm.

The new hearings aredesigned to sound out opinions on what ought to bedone with the Trinity. Fewwould disagree with plansto clean up the river’s badlypolluted waters, or to harness its downstream floods,but both plans areintegrally linked to the proposed new channel. Trinityofficials think it unlikelythat the river can becleaned up or controlledwithout the new channel.The irony of this isthat the Dallas-Fort Worthpopulace, which single-handedly defeated thechannelization, is primarily responsible for thedownriver pollution andflooding.


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