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TxDOT Promises to Reverse Some of the Damage Caused by Urban Freeways in Dallas

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is in the early stages of planning for two projects that could leverage plans to rebuild two freeways in the city with plan to reconnect the neighborhoods they severed.
June 8, 2021, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A freeway deck park in Dallas envisioned for the CityMAP prject in 2016.

"The Texas Department of Transportation hopes to help restitch four Dallas neighborhoods during the next two decades with massive overhauls of interstates 30 and 345," reports Nic Garcia.

For Interstate 30, TxDOT is planning to reconstruct and widen stretches of freeway located east of downtown, where the freeway cuts through the South Dallas, Fair Park, and Deep Ellum neighborhoods. TxDOT it can complete the widening and rebuilding while hopes all three neighborhoods would be more accessible to each other by depressing the freeway below grade, redoing on ramps, adding pedestrian and bike bridges, and allowing for cap parks similar to Klyde Warren Park and the Southern Gateway.

On Interstate 345, a 1.4-mile freeway that moves 180,000 cars per day and acts as a wall between the central business district and the Deep Ellum neighborhood, the possibility of removing the elevated freeway and replacing with boulevards is on the table.  

"Redesigning and rebuilding both highways was born out of work TxDOT completed in 2016, known as CityMAP," according to Garcia. "The two projects — which are estimated to cost well over $1 billion — are in their infancy. Environmental studies and federal approval are still years away before the department can lay a square foot of concrete. And there is little money set aside for this work."

In a high-profile setback for the automobile infrastructure status quo, in April the U.S. Department of Transportation halted TxDOT's work on a freeway widening project on Interstate 45 in Houston. The TxDOT is also still pursuing a widening project on Interstate 10 between Austin and Houston.

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Published on Monday, June 7, 2021 in The Dallas Morning News
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