O.K., let's do this. We know that everybody on the Angela Hunt side will be gracious. So I believe I owe it to that side to do them a small service here and not be gracious. I mean, who expected me to be gracious and dignified, right? So, instead of being gracious, I think I'll just go ahead and do the sour grapes. And here they are:
There will never be a toll road between the levees. I know that the voters of Dallas have spoken; I have great respect for democracy. But this election was an I.Q. test, and slightly more than half of the electorate didn't do so hot.
The toll road will cost between $1.3 billion and $1.9 billion to build, according to documents I reviewed a week ago at the North Texas Tollway Authority's headquarters. It is at last a billion dollars in the hole. Dallas can put in $84 million. The NTTA can put in something between $150 million and maybe $200 million if they really juice it. There is no way the tollway authority can come up with the missing billion-plus dollars.
Now that half the city thinks Leppert is a liar, that half of the electorate will be watching like a hawk for him to try to slip hidden tollway money into future bond elections under fake titles.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is going to be screwed on the flood control metrics of the toll road and the park. The kind of excavation needed to offset the hydrological impact of the road and maintain grade and water velocities through the corridor would mean a dig extending down beyond the southern border of the county. For many reasons, it won't be remotely feasible.
Then you have the fact that the Corps says it must retain the right to tear down the toll road if the levees need work. Try explaining that to prospective bondholders.
This thing is too dumb an idea to happen. The city has voted for a scheme too dumb to build.
Half the city voted for it. Not the cool half. More on that theme in my column next week. And guess what. I love sour grapes. I could eat them all day long. I intend to do just that. Mmmm-mmmm. Munchy-munchy good! --Jim Schutze
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