The plan to make the US 175 S.M. Wright Freeway a tree-lined boulevard took a step forward this week with Dallas City Council approval to accept maintenance of the road once it becomes a boulevard.
“We are encouraged to hear that because that is progress,” said neighbor James Price. “That is a lot of progress for this area.”
Price is a leader of the Wendelkin-Driskell Homeowners Association. He lives in a house that is more than 100 years old, just a block from the S.M. Wright Freeway.
“It’s divided us, this side and the other side, for so long. Now that they’re bringing that down, that will bring us back together and it will be a beautiful thing for the community, as well,” Price said.
Demolishing the S.M. Wright Freeway is phase 2 of the work on US 175. Phase 1 is removing so called “Deadman’s Curve” where S.M. Wright meets 175 C.F. Hawn Freeway. The State of Texas is in the midst building a $104 million connector to divert C.F. Hawn directly to I-45 and eliminate the sharp turn.
Construction has been a nightmare for Texas Liquors, a family run business on S.M. Wright that counted on passing traffic heading to points further east.
Owner Rickey Svay said sales are only a third of what they were because of roadblocks.
“We have tried to sell our location for the past 3 years and were unsuccessful, due to no income,” Svay said.
The next phase on S.M. Wright will reduce traffic on the road even further when the direct connection to I-45 is available.
“The first phase already killed us so, I don’t know what to do. I just don’t know what to do,” Svay said.
The first phase of construction should be completed in 2019. Phase 2 for around $37 million begins after that with completion of the boulevard scheduled for 2022.
The Texas Department of Transportation promised to make the 175 construction a neighborhood job creator. Friday, TxDOT reported that around a dozen workers were hired by the contractor from the nearby area.