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WATER PIPE PIQUE

By A.L. |

This fall, homeowners along Fisher Road, on the west side of White Rock Lake, won a battle to keep their charming rural-like neighborhood intact. In September, area residents were notified that the Dallas Water Department planned to run an 84-inch pipe along Fisher Road, ripping up trees and altering the street’s appearance in the process.

The water pipe is headed from Samuell Boulevard to Belt Line Road in North Dallas. Studies by the water department indicate that North Dallas will experience a slight water shortage by 1987 if water from the eastern part of the city is not tapped for northern use. The department’s plan is to run the pipe along the Southern Pacific and Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad tracks. The department planned to deviate from this route in the Fisher Road neighborhood because the corridor containing the tracks in that area is very narrow. Running the pipe along Fisher Road would have saved the city approximately $500,000 to $800,000. The total cost of the water pipe is estimated at $50.8 million.

Fisher Road homeowners met with Tom Taylor, director for Dallas Water Utilities, and City Councilman Lee Simpson, to suggest alternate routes for the pipe and to express their opposition to the plan. Besides the headache of having the construction on the road, many residents were worried that after the pipe was laid, the city would pave the rustic lane and lay sidewalks and gutters. A few weeks after the meeting, Taylor reviewed the area and changed the route back to the railroad tracks. Fisher Road homeowner Joel Potasznik says that Taylor “was as good as his word.”

The Fisher Road neighborhood is just the first of many that will be affected by the water pipe. Approximately 20 miles of pipeline will run from the Fisher Road area to its North Dallas destination. In an effort to make the pipeline a plus rather than a minus for neighborhoods, the Dallas Water Department has planned a hike and bike trail that will run alongside the pipeline. Current plans are for the trail to run from the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Lawther Road to Preston Road in North Dallas.

In the months ahead, water department officials will meet with various neighborhood and environmental groups to make sure the plan is acceptable. “We can design a pipeline,” says Matalyn Harp, assistant to the director of the Dallas Water Department, “but we don’t claim to know about its neighborhood and environmental effects.”

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