Dallas Mayor Says More Study of Inland Port Project Needed

Critics say delays may give advantage to Fort Worth project

The developer of the new inland port in south Dallas County says more study of the project will give the advantage to another development in far north Fort Worth.

The inland port south of Interstate 20 stands to transform the region with thousands of new jobs loading and transferring rail cargo.

"We feel like we've got momentum, and that anything that is put in the way of that momentum will stifle the development in southern Dallas once again," said Dan McAuliffe, of Dallas Logistics Center.

The Allen Group has assembled 6,000 acres for the inland port that includes parts of the city of Dallas.

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert said he supports additional study to the tune of nearly $1 million worth of extra planning.

"Let's make sure 10, 15, 20 years down the line, that we've got enough water -- not in the project itself, but water coming back to other areas (because) we've got 30,000 jobs or make sure that we've got the highways," he said.

The developer said he has spent three years and $6 million on studies that all the cities involved approved.

"What more is there to study? I don't understand," McAuliffe said.

Hutchins Mayor Artis Johnson also said plenty of studies have been finished. He said more planning money would be better spent on new roads.

"And I think that would move us ahead more faster than holding up, frightening the developers that are investing in our area," he said.

Johnson said he fears any delays help Ross Perot Jr.'s Alliance development in Fort Worth, which also has a rail terminal.

"The people that are supposed to representing us shouldn't be representing them, they should be representing us," he said.

Leppert, a former construction executive, said he hates delays but wants to get the big deal done right.

"My loyalties are going to be to the inland port, that's what we want to win," he said.

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