Last updated 17-June-2001
Trinity Turnpike, Downtown Dallas
The Trinity Turnpike is a proposed 8-lane tollway that will begin at the intersection
of US75 and I-45 on the southeast side of downtown Dallas, extend around the south and
west sides of downtown Dallas along the Trinity River, and connect to I-35E near the
I-35E/114 intersection. (See map.) In the very long run, it may be extended westward.
The main objective of the Trinity Turnpike is to ease the gridlock of the downtown
Dallas "mixmaster" by providing an alternate route. Although the Trinity Turnpike has strong
political support, it has been dogged by controversy. The controversy seems to intensify as
time goes on, even though Dallas voters narrowly approved $84 million in bonds for the facility
At issue is the master plan for the Trinity River, which envisions a grand park with lakes and
recreational areas in the wide flood plain. Environmentalists say that an 8-lane freeway
along the flood plain levees or in the flood plan will detract from the park. However, the most
economical way to build the freeway/tollway is to build it just inside the levees on both sides
of the flood plain (one direction on each side.)
On 17-June-2001, the Dallas Morning News reported on a Trinity Corridor study
that seems to be pointing in favor of a low-speed parkway. But this is just one input factor in the decision process. All information
needed for the decision should be available by the end of 2001, when a decision could be made. But if history is any indication, delays are
In spring 2001, the North Central Texas Council of Governments considered some amendedments to the long-term transportation plan. One amendment
would change the designation of the facility from 8-lane parkway to 6-lane limited access freeway/tollway.
In November 2000, the Dallas Morning News reported on severe cost escalation of the project.
The original cost was projected at $439 million.
The revised cost is now between $620 million and $1.2 billion, depending on the design option
selected. The currently preferred design will cost $669 million.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News, this would leave an unfunded gap of $435 million. Ouch.
See the full story in the
11-November-2000 Dallas Morning News article
follow-up article was published on November 15, 2000. It confirms that there is still widespread political support for
the Trinity Parkway, but prospects are uncertain because of the inflating cost.
Look for a decision on the alignment to be made in 2001. I don't see an imminent solution
to the funding problem.
The route of the Trinity Turnpike is in green. The future extension of the Woodall Rogers Freeway to cross the Trinity River, a funded project,
is in red.