Robert Wilonsky reports on a recent meeting of the Dallas City Council’s Transportation and Trinity Corridor Project Committee, which brought to light new details of a proposal to build a “six-lane toll road the city along the east levee of the Trinity River between Interstate 45/U.S. 175 to the Interstate 35E and State Highway 183 merge.”
The meeting examined the proposed plan's final environmental impact statement, as prepared by the Federal Highway Administration. The crux of the controversy arising from the hearing: the proposed route's proximity to, and protection from, the Trinity River's floodplain. “For much of its nine-mile length, the road will extend around 535 feet into the floodway; there’s a plan for a ‘flood separation wall’ that’s not even as high as the existing levees; and in some instances the road runs almost right next to the river,” writes Wilonsky.
Wilonsky quotes the reaction of Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs, who has this to say about the project’s proposed flood control infrastructure: “This is the first time we got a sense of how far the road goes into the green space…And the flood wall only halfway up the levees. If you live near the levees you know why they’re as tall as they are, and not half their height. It gets up there, like it did in 1990. And now I am concerned about the safety of people using the road during storms.”
And here’s Dallas Morning News Architecture Critic Mark Lamster’s take on Wilonsky’s article and the toll road project, via Twitter:
The project still requires approval by the FHWA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will release its own EIS later this week. The Trinity Toll Road project is connected to a plan to create a series of lakes as an open space resource, funded by $31.5 million in voter approved bond money from 1998.