The Texas Department of Transportation is seeking public comment on the early phase of a proposed plan to reconstruct a 4.4-mile portion of Interstate 30 East.
The scope of the massive project includes widening and reconstructing I-30 East from Interstate 345 and Interstate 45 to Ferguson Road — the portion of freeway that bisects parts of Deep Ellum, East Dallas, Fair Park, South Dallas and Pleasant Grove.
The proposal, which TxDOT shared Tuesday in a virtual presentation, would include adding a fifth lane in each direction and depressing the main and managed lanes below ground level from I-345/I-45 to Dolphin Road. It would also include reconstruction of ramps and bridges, a second reversible managed lane and accommodations for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Gus Khankarli, the transportation director for the city of Dallas, said in the recorded presentation that the project will "improve community connectivity" in the areas that are affected by the raised highway.
"Reconstructing I-30 by depressing the mainlanes for nearly 3 miles to the east of I-345 will help to reknit the communities on either side by connecting cross streets," Khankarli said in the presentation. "This will also allow the city to pursue creating deck parks and plazas over the top of the highway."
The latest news from around North Texas.
Deck crossings would be owned and operated by the city, which is looking into private funding, and could be constructed as part of the project if the funding exists, according to the TxDOT presentation.
The more than a dozen locations where streets currently run under the I-30 bridges would be replaced with streets over the sunken lanes of the highway, and would connect in some instances with new frontage roads, according to TxDOT.
The cross streets would follow the design guidelines in the city's Complete Streets Design Manual, which puts an emphasis on making the streets work better for people, whether they're walking, biking or taking another form of transportation, instead of just moving traffic.
TxDOT said meetings with the city as well as stakeholders, including neighborhood and religious organizations and businesses, have helped to inform the proposed design that has been presented, and feedback received during the open comment period this month will also help further refine the schematic design.
But before ground can be broken, there are still many steps ahead for the project, which TxDOT said is not yet fully funded under the department's Unified Transportation Program.
The department expects to finalize a schematic, conduct public hearings and complete environmental documentation between spring and summer 2022.
Right of way acquisition is scheduled to begin summer 2022 and last through fall 2024. TxDOT said it anticipated that additional right of way will be required, and that the changes made to ramps and other parts of the project could result in "surplus right of way," which local government agencies would get first priority to acquire.
TxDOT's project timeline estimates construction will begin in fall 2024 and last through 2029.
There are several ways to submit feedback:
- Email the project manager at Nelson.Underwood@txdot.gov
- Mail comments to the project manager: Nelson Underwood, P.E., TxDOT Dallas District Office, 4777 East US Highway 80, Mesquite, Texas 75150-6643
- Submit through the meeting website
- Leave a voicemail by calling 833-933-0443
Comments must be submitted or postmarked by June 23 to be included in the public record.