DALLAS - Plans to build a toll road along the Trinity River in southwest Dallas are officially dead.
The decades-long battle over the proposed road ended Wednesday morning with a 13-2 vote killing the plan, so the city could instead focus on building a park within the levees.
Even Mayor Mike Rawlings, who has long supported building the toll road, voted with the majority of his colleagues to kill it. Residents in the audience applauded the vote.
The site of the 155 acre park would be along the Trinity River between the Margaret McDermott Bridge and the Ron Kirk Bridge.
After three hours of debate, the council approved in a 9-6 vote the creation of a type of corporation that would be responsible for overseeing the development of the park, which could cost an estimated $250 million
But some council members were concerned about the separate corporation and how it would work. Its creation was one of the conditions of a $50 million dollar gift for the park from the widow of Texas billionaire Harold Simmons. Some on the council said the process was being rushed.
“It’s one of the biggest decisions this council will make,” said councilman Scott Griggs. “We need public hearings and public input.”
But others said it was time to get dirt flying and progress underway.
“We want to pass this Trinity today for that baby I see up there and that other baby I see up there,” said councilman Dwaine Caraway. “I am not worried about these adults, I am worried about the future of this city.”
The new corporation will have authority over thousands of acres of land. The mayor will appoint seven members to run it, but the city council must give the ok to each of the members.
An estimated $200 million is needed before any construction can begin on the Trinity park.