Dallas City Council approves plan to tear down elevated I-345 freeway
The Dallas City Council has given the thumbs up to tear a controversial freeway down.
After years of debate, the city council voted on May 24 to tear down I-345, the quarter-mile elevated highway strip that runs between downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum.
The council approved a "hybrid" option that will replace the elevated highway with a highway buried in a trench. The approval gives the Texas Department of Tranportation permission to pursue federal funds for the project, which would replace the 10-lane elevated highway with a 10-lane trench, plus multiple ramps and exits.
TxDOT already has a transfixing video showing what it would look like.
However, the council also inserted stipulations calling for further study into other options before construction begins, as well as an amendment stating that the city reserved the right to withdraw its support.
The project has been complicated by the fact that highway is owned by the state, but is on city land.
Some city council members wanted to postpone the vote and do more study but did not have a majority; the vote to support TxDOT's hybrid plan was unanimous.
For Coalition For a New Dallas, a group that's been advocating to tear down I-345, the vote moves the conversation in a positive direction, one they'll nudge towards another plan in which the elevated freeway would be replaced by a street-side boulevard.
"Our movement enters an exciting new phase now that consensus for removal for the elevated highway has been politically achieved: building city-wide support for what should replace it," a statement from the group says.
"Fortunately, several grassroots groups and community champions have stepped up in recent years and are leading the advocacy in an exciting direction," their statement says.