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.
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“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.