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After A Long, Slow Decline, Dallas’ Trinity Toll Road Looks To Be Dead

Trinity Parkway Design Charette Report
This rendering of the proposed Trinity Parkway and park, as seen from the Inwood bridge, came out of a 2015 design project.

The plan to build a toll road next to the Trinity River in downtown Dallas appears to be near death.

The Dallas City Council spent hours Wednesday talking about the road and the park that's been proposed in the river basin. Council members will vote on killing the parkway next week.

Brandon Formby covered the hearing for the Texas Tribune. He works out of the KERA office, and he sat down with Rick Holter to break down the road's prospects.


Formby, who's been covering the project for years, says Mayor Mike Rawlings and at least 10 members of the Dallas City Council are now against the project. 

The only council member who really fiercely supported it Wednesday morning was Rick Callahan, whose district covers part of southeast Dallas.

"There is no salient reason to say no to this project," Callahan said. "We've done everything right. We've voted on this twice. The money's not there, but Mayor, let's find the money." 

There's already been about $40 million spent on the project, but Formby says the full build would cost about $1.3 billion.

The original idea for the Trinity toll road was to ease traffic. If the project is killed, the City still wants to relieve congestion, especially around Interstate-35E, just north of downtown, Formby says. 

Listen to the full interview for:

  • Next steps if the project is killed 
  • How the way we think about highways and traffic has changed
  • The future of the Trinity River park
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.
Brandon Formby writes about the challenges facing Texas’ largest metro areas as they experience unbridled growth. He joined the Tribune in October 2016 and is the organization’s first reporter based in Dallas. The Texas Tech University graduate spent more than 13 years at The Dallas Morning News, where he covered transportation, local government and politics.