Carolyn Davis Demands City Build New MLK Bridge, Makes Another Gaffe at Trinity Meeting

Humor me for a minute.

Imagine you're a city council member on the Trinity River Corridor Project Committee. You walk into yesterday's meeting and Page Six of this schematic is on the screen as Dan Chapman, project manager of the Trinity Turnpike for the North Texas Tollway Authority, is in the middle of explaining details of the rendering.

Someone asks you what the yellow section represents. What do you say?

Hopefully you say something like: "Obviously it's the turnpike, dumbass, unless you're talking about the Corinth Street bridge or DART bridge, which are more of a mustard color."

Jump to find out what council member Carolyn Davis said when she moseyed into yesterday's meeting an hour late.

"The yellow is what, 35? Highway 35?" Davis asked.

"The yellow here is our main lanes for the Trinity Parkway that are at-grade," replied Chapman.

Davis seldom disappoints at these committee meetings. Who can forget her infamous "What's the TRCP?" question aimed at Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan in September?

Jordan again was the target Tuesday in one of the most bizarre speeches by a council member in recent memory as Davis played the race card and reminded Jordan and others that she was a good soldier during the toll road referendum while demanding the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard bridge be rebuilt.

It started with Davis awkwardly needing help from Chapman explaining what part of MLK Boulevard she was looking at in the schematic. Of course, this was after she made Chapman answer questions about MLK when he made it clear on several occasions that he would be discussing it when they moved on to the next slide.

While explaining what the NTTA was planning to do to the bridge, Chapman said it would be widened and would need some repainting.

"Why can't you just do a new bridge?" Davis asked. "Why would we patch it?"

"Well, it's just a matter of money," Chapman said.

Chapman added that a new bridge would cost approximately $40 million. Davis told Jordan that she wanted to meet with her about the issue, calling it an old bridge "that's been there since the late 1900s."

And then Davis up offered this gem.

See, this is the problem that I have, and I'm not trying to be silly. And this is what makes certain people feel betrayed, and it's not fair to black folks. You get into the African American community, we're talking about patchwork. Certain areas, other areas, you're talking about whole new construction. We need to do it right.

Don't come back to me talking about expanding a 40-year-old bridge with patchwork. If we're gonna do it, let's us do it right. Let's make it fair for everybody. And don't come tell me you can't find the money.

So Jill, we need a new bridge, OK? I voted on the Trinity too just like everyone else around this horseshoe voted for it. I had one vote. I lobbied for the Trinity too. I got out and I walked door to door to make sure that they're sitting in those seats right there, OK?

After turning around in her chair at one point with Rebecca Dugger and sharing a brief laugh, Jordan said begrudgingly, "We'll get what you need."

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten