So, Wait -- Project Pegasus is Dead?
From time to time, Friends of Unfair Park ask about the status of Project Pegasus, which is -- or was -- "intended to transform the two major Interstate Highways directly serving Downtown Dallas, by totally redesigning IH 30 from Sylvan Avenue to IH 45, and IH 35E from Eighth Street to Empire Central Drive," per the website's to-the-point project overview. Last I recall us writing about it was April 2010, when Schutze beat The News about the head and shoulders for insisting during the 2007 Trinity River toll road referendum that the toll road and Pegasus were inextricably linked -- which the paper kinda, sorta admitted was a bald-faced lie three years later.
The Project Pegasus website hasn't been updated since forever -- 2005 looks to be the most recent heads-up, back when the Mixmaster-Canyon-Lower Stemmons redo was in the "planning, design and environmental" stage, the third of seven intended to culminate with the grand opening sometime in ... well, no one ever really said. The most the agencies involved -- among them, TxDOT, the city, DART, the NTTA, NCTCOG, etc. -- would commit to was that construction would begin "sometime before 2010." And that tick has tocked.
But then, last night, in the middle of a piece about how Dallas (and the entire state) needs more highways and byways to make room for more cars, Shelly Slater casually dropped this bomb: "News 8 has learned that Project Pegasus, the Dallas mixmaster improvement project, is coming to a screeching halt after decades of planning." She said TxDOT and the city had no answer to the big ol' "why," but the answer's clear: There's just no money.
I've got calls out to Bill Hale, TxDOT's Dallas district engineer, and spokesperson Cynthia Northrop White and city council member Linda Koop, chair of the Transportation Committee. I'll update when they do. Till then, let's go to the Project Pegasus FAQ to answer the question "How will the funding be obtained for constructing Project Pegasus?"
State and Federal funding sources will primarily be used to fund the project. Construction funding has not been allocated at this time. Local cost sharing will also be required to pay any added cost of aesthetic urban design elements included in the planned transportation facility improvements.
The WFAA piece is on the other side.