Dallas planner: Houston Street bridge to close for streetcar line construction
Dallas Morning News – by Roy Appleton
April 19, 2012
The city of Dallas’ transportation planner said this week that he’ll soon present a routing plan to close the Houston Street bridge to motor vehicles during the construction of a streetcar line.
Keith Manoy also says he will be checking the public’s pulse on forever closing the bridge to all but bicycles, pedestrians and the like after the streetcar service starts in October 2014.
“I need to lay this all out and present it to the community,” Manoy said Wednesday.
The bridge must be closed during construction, set to begin early in 2013. During that time, the parallel and nearby Jefferson Boulevard bridge will become two-way, picking up the load.
Oak Cliff-bound traffic will exit at the Marsalis Avenue ramp toward Colorado Boulevard, while traffic from Oak Cliff will connect with the bridge via Jefferson Boulevard, according to the plan.
The routing plan will be presented at public meetings in the next few months, Manoy said. The changes will require City Council approval.
Council member Scott Griggs says he supports the idea. And Manoy said he has received positive responses from council members Delia Jasso, Pauline Medrano and Linda Koop.
After the Houston bridge closes, “that’s probably the way it will stay until the Jefferson Memorial Bridge is built,” Manoy said.
The project, involving a new river crossing between downtown and Oak Cliff with ramp links to Interstate 35E and the proposed Trinity Parkway, remains unfunded. But the state is preparing to hire a consultant to review the plan, which now calls for a six-lane bridge without bicycle or pedestrian lanes. Manoy said he hopes those latter amenities would be added.
And he would like to see the century-old bridge nearby left to calmer forms of motion: “Hopefully, Houston will never reopen to [motor] vehicular traffic.”