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Mayor Mike Rawlings Says I -345 Must Be Repaired Before It Can Be Removed

The mayor released this statement last evening regarding the proposed removal of I-345:

I have participated in several discussions over the last few weeks with local business leaders, concerned citizens and the Texas Department of Transportation about the status of I-345.

While I remain undecided about the proposal to tear down the highway, I am convinced that repairing it is necessary before any decision is made about the future of I-345.

I learned that canceling or postponing renovations will increase safety concerns for travelers on the highway, and I refuse to compromise the safety of our citizens for any idea, regardless of its merit.

It is also important to understand that tearing down I-345 would be very expensive, with TxDOT estimating a cost of approximately $1.9 billion to fund demolition and associated street and bridge improvements. And it’s a time-consuming process as well. Similar projects have taken up to 10 years to complete.

Even if safety, cost and time weren’t factors, the City of Dallas does not have the authority to affect the decision to repair I-345, which has already been endorsed by TxDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and the state Legislature.

The conversation about how highways interact with our city is worthwhile, and I’m pleased that TxDOT has expressed its willingness to engage other transportation partners to fund such an effort, including a long-term study of the area surrounding I-345. I will be working with TxDOT and those partners moving forward to ensure that process takes place in a timely manner.

Removal would take 10 years, cost $1.9 billion? What’s Patrick Kennedy have to say about that?

  • penisvanlesbian

    hashtag horseshit

  • Tim Rogers

    I spoke with Sam Merten, the mayor’s spokesman. That $1.9 billion accounts for demolition but also the connections to affected nearby roads (I-45, Good Latimer, Woodall Rodgers) that would need to be re-engineered. THAT’s where the expenses pile up.

    Here’s what’s interesting about that: TxDOT’s position all along has been that it will not study an I-345 teardown. That option ain’t on the table. Because the thing needs to be repaired. Someone will correct me here if I’m wrong. But if TxDOT refuses to study a teardown, how does it know what it will cost to re-engineer all those expensive connections?

  • Lorlee

    And yet $2 Billion doesn’t seem to scare them for the ill-conceived toll road in the Trinity Ditch.

  • WalkableDFW

    TxDOT money. Cost estimates grow on trees. As does their debt. So you’re telling me that the entire 635 reconstruction project, nearly 10x the size, costs only 37% more. I guess their numbers look more positive when they want to do something.

  • Wylie H Dallas

    Stop using logical reasoning.

  • DelkusSleeves

    Well by the time they get around to thinking about removing it, Im guessing with inflation that $2 billion will look like a deal in the future