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Yes, It'll Cost $150 Million to Fix the Levees. But How Much to Turn Riverfront Boulevard Into a "Complete Street"?

I'll leave it to Dr. James IIsaac Bashevis Levee Singer Schutze to parse through Mary Suhm's 88-page Dallas Floodway System Update Briefing presented to the council last night and covered in this morning's paper. Maybe when he's freed from the coop Jim can tell us why the city's only willing to take $15 million from the zombie Trinity Parkway to cover the up-to-though-more-likely-at-least $150 million price tag needed to repair the levees by no later than August 2011, when FEMA releases those revised flood maps. Writes Rudy, the toll road "has $46.3 million available," but Suhm will instead look for money that was "dedicated to flood, drainage and seepage projects." I spoke with Jim this morning. He is sharpening his pitchfork as we speak. Poulet, beware.

So, then. Instead, on this flood-watch Saturday, I'll direct your attention instead to a different Trinity River Corridor Project Committee briefing -- only because you might want to mark down in your datebook: May 10, 6:30 to 8 p.m. That's when Dallas County and city officials will descend upon the L1-FN Auditorium in Dallas City Hall to debut plans for IndustrialRiverfront Boulevard.

The intention, according to the briefing, is to turn Riverfront, from Continental Avenue to Cadiz Street, into a so-called "complete street." Which is to say, as Riverfront Boulevard becomes, according to the briefing, "the primary frontage road for the Trinity Lakes area of the Park," there will be a "new emphasis on mobility options such as transit, bicycles, pedestrians and sustainability." The briefing then goes on to describe "landscape zones" bracketed by five-foot-wide "cycle tracks" and six-foot-wide "pedestrian sidewalks."

I could repeat the briefing, but I'd suggest you read it instead -- much prettier pictures. Construction's scheduled to begin November 2011 and wrap up two years later, during which time I will be building in the garage my own solar-powered water taxi. Total cost: $54 million. Amount currently available: $40 million. Oh, Jim?

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