Sneak Previewing the Latest Latest Plan to Connect Downtown Dallas With Fair Park

Click to expand: one piece of the proposed route linking the Central Business District with Fair Park
Click to expand: one piece of the proposed route linking the Central Business District with Fair Park

On January 23, 2008, the Dallas City Council agreed to pay Civil Associates, Inc. $336,422.22 to develop what was known as the Central Business District-Fair Park Link, which would have run from Hall Street to Interstate 30. The link was part of the 2006 Bond Program: "Construct a new five undivided roadway on new right-of-way from Hall St. to Main St. Secure right of way only to accomodate a six lane divided roadway from Main St. to I-30." But from the looks of the council's agenda for its December 9 meeting, that plan's been changed ... dramatically.

City Hall's been trying to come up with something that links downtown and Fair Park since forever: The idea's been around since the 1980s; it's a big part of the 4-year-old Comprehensive Transportation Plan for the Central Business District; and I seem to recall Laura Miller was the last to push the plan during her Deep Ellum town-halls, when she said such a path from downtown to Fair Park would be just the revitalization spark the neighborhood needed. The council's now being asked to okee-doke a CBD-Fair Park Link that runs from Hall Street to Hickory Street.

Jump for the details, mind mind the hypothetical construction.

This action will establish the alignment and right-of-way configuration for the Central Business District -- Fair Park Link from Hall Street to Hickory Street. The proposed alignment will accommodate a four-lane divided thoroughfare within a right-of-way varying in width from 84 feet at Hall Street to 112 feet wide at Hickory Street. The increased width of the right-of-way near Hickory Street will allow expansion of the thoroughfare from four lanes to seven lanes when the proposed modifications to Interstate 30 are constructed by TxDOT.

A 14-foot wide bike trail will be installed on the Dallas Area Raprid Transit (DART) side of the alignment from Hall Street to the Elm/Exposition intersection where it will connect directly to the East Dallas Veloway, Phase II Extension. A six-foot wide sidewalk will be installed on the Baylor side of the alignment from Hall Street to the Elm/Exposition intersection. The preliminary cost estimate, including design, right-of-way acquisition and construction from Hall Street to Main Street is $6,200,000. The section from Main Street to Hickory Street will require construction funding in a future bond program.

The design's due in a year, with construction scheduled to begin in March 2011. A year later, more or less, all done. So they say.


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