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Dallas City Council Kills the Trinity Toll Road

Rickey Callahan makes a last stand for the Trinity toll road.
Rickey Callahan makes a last stand for the Trinity toll road.
Stephen Young
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The Trinity toll road is dead. After limited discussion Wednesday morning, the Dallas City Council voted 13-2 to abandon Alternative 3C, the only federally approved plan for a road between the Trinity River levees. The vote received a round of applause from road opponents in the City Council gallery.

For more than two decades, the toll road has been one of the biggest issues in Dallas municipal politics. Proponents sold the paid bypass as a necessary way to access the long-awaited Trinity River park and a way for southern Dallas residents to get to jobs elsewhere in the city more quickly. Opponents said it would be an expensive project that would've provided little traffic relief and faced a constant threat from the river's flood waters.

Last week, during a briefing on the state of the Trinity project, many members of the City Council said they were ready to vote against it. That list included Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who'd strongly supported the road. He cited a lack of funding from the Texas Department of Transportation and North Texas Tollway Authority for the change. He also acknowledged public antipathy toward the road, saying, "I don't thing the city wants this at this point."

Rickey Callahan makes a last stand for the Trinity toll road.EXPAND
Rickey Callahan makes a last stand for the Trinity toll road.
Stephen Young

There was little discussion Wednesday about the decision to kill the road, aside from the comments by council member Rickey Callahan, a toll road dead-ender. Callahan, whom only Casey Thomas joined in voting to keep the road, blasted those on the council who'd changed their minds, questioning the wisdom of overturning the work of former Dallas leaders such as Ron Kirk, Tom Leppert and Vonciel Jones Hill.

"How could so many former leaders be wrong?" Callahan asked.

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