to the most frequently asked questions about PROJECT PEGASUS
are provided here. These questions will be updated periodically
on the web site and in The Freeway Flyer project newsletters.
is TxDOT studying the IH 30/IH 35E downtown freeways again?
Didn't the Trinity Parkway Corridor MTIS address the same
problems and needs? Why is the Trinity Parkway project needed
if the downtown freeways will be reconstructed?
The Trinity Parkway Corridor Major Transportation Investment
Study (MTIS), conducted from 1996 to 1998, included studies
of the Canyon, Mixmaster and Lower Stemmons Freeways. The
purpose of the MTIS was to develop a solution to the congestion
on IH 30, IH 35E, and the IH 30/IH 35E Mixmaster interchange
near downtown Dallas. The MTIS evaluated different travel
modes, over 40 improvement alternatives, and included conceptual
engineering, traffic analysis, preliminary environmental
studies and an extensive public and agency involvement program.
The MTIS plan-of-action recommended over $1 billion in multi-modal
transportation improvements, including the improvements
to the IH 30 and IH 35E freeways that are the focus of this
The Trinity Parkway was one of several interdependent elements
needed to solve the downtown gridlock for the year 2025.
PROJECT PEGASUS is the next step toward implementation of
the recommended freeway improvements. The study will prepare
preliminary plans and an environmental document for freeway
improvements to the Mixmaster, Canyon, and Lower Stemmons.
In addition to the freeway improvements, the project includes
the associated High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITS), and bicycle and pedestrian
improvements for streets crossing the freeways.
long is the design and/or construction process going to
take? When will construction begin and when will it be completed?
The work now underway will produce schematic plans and an
environmental document, which are to be completed in July
of 2004. Subsequent phases will include design development,
preparation of detailed plans, bidding, and construction.
When funding is secured, the construction plans are completed,
and right-of-way acquired, construction can begin. The next
phase of design, detailed plans and right-of-way acquisition
is usually a three year process. If appropriate funding
is then in place, construction is anticipated to begin in
approximately 2010. The construction will likely occur in
several stages, possibly over a period of seven years. Based
on those assumptions, the construction will be completed
in 2017. There is currently no funding in place for construction
of the project, so the necessary funding will need to be
in place before construction can begin. Construction agreements
will need to be developed between the City of Dallas, TxDOT,
DART, and the NTTA to specify project participation and
to coordinate construction schedules for related projects.
How will traffic be handled during construction?
During construction, traffic management will be an essential
part of the project to ensure safe and efficient traffic
flow. Reliever routes within the Right-of-way will be built
to alleviate traffic congestion during construction. This
study will determine where they will be built. Plans for
maintaining traffic flow during construction will be developed
as part of the detailed construction plans for the proposed
improvements. The traffic management plan will include a
wide range of options such as:
Preparation of traffic management staging plans to provide
safe traffic flow during construction;
Traffic detours along alternate routes to include lane
marking, signing and traffic barrier modifications;
of traffic diversions for temporary traffic during construction
use of frontage roads to allow upgrading of existing main
closures during off-peak traffic hours and at night. Closures
will be short-term and related to a specific construction
Construction of the planned Trinity Parkway is important
to the IH 30/IH 35E project because the Parkway will increase
corridor traffic capacity and provide a major reliever route
during construction of the improvements to the Canyon, Mixmaster
and Lower Stemmons freeways.
many vehicles travel the corridor today? How much traffic
will the improved freeways be able to accommodate?
Traffic on IH 30 and IH 35E has been increasing at a rate
of 1 to 5 percent a year. In 1999, over 155,000 vehicles
a day traveled the Canyon portion of IH 30, and 286,000
vehicles per day traveled the Lower Stemmons portion of
IH 35E just south of the Dallas North Tollway. The Mixmaster
has received national notoriety, and the dubious distinction,
by being named one of the top ten "Worst Commuting Bottlenecks"
in the nation by the American Automobile Association for
five consecutive years. The Canyon, Mixmaster, and Lower
Stemmons are critically congested and operate in stop-and-go
traffic every business day. The congestion also slows travel
for many miles along the other freeways feeding into the
downtown area, including IH 35E (Stemmons and South R.L.
Thornton freeways), US 75 (North Central Expressway), and
IH 30 (Tom Landry Highway and East R.L. Thornton Freeway).
If this downtown congestion is not solved, the bumper-to-bumper
conditions are forecast to worsen to nearly 9 hours of congestion
each weekday, resulting in an actual overlap of the morning
and evening peak-hour flows. In other words, continuous
congestion throughout each workday, regardless of travel
direction. However, this problem is not isolated nor independent.
Without a transportation solution to the downtown freeway
congestion, proposals and/or designs for improving the outlying
segments of IH 30 and IH 35E (feeding into the same downtown
bottleneck) will not be effective.
Future traffic capacity on IH 35E and IH 30 is limited by
existing physical constraints that limit the expansion of
the right-of-way and roadway improvements. Traffic forecasts
for the planned freeway system are currently being developed
by the Texas Transportation Institute.
will the project look like when it is done? Can you make
it look like Central Expressway? Will the planned improvements
include amenities like landscaping, lighting, and other
The project will include landscaping and aesthetic features
along the reconstructed freeways. An Urban Design Study
is being performed as part of PROJECT PEGASUS to develop
plans for integrating the freeway design with the adjacent
community areas, including possible use of "cut and cover"
or "lid" treatments for the Canyon. The reconstructed IH
30/IH 35E freeways should reflect the unique character of
the areas along the corridor. TxDOT is seeking the help
from the City of Dallas and local neighborhoods and organizations
in this effort, including local cost-sharing participation
in funding the aesthetic improvements. The Dallas North
Central Expressway is an example where this was done with
is meant by "cut and cover" or "lid" treatments for the
Canyon portion of the freeway?
These design treatments refer to the potential construction
of wide structures bridging over portions of the freeway
where the main lanes are depressed below the grade level
of adjacent areas. The surface area of these structures
covering the freeway could be used for parks, open space,
parking or other public uses.
much is the IH 30/IH 35E reconstruction going to cost? How
will this project be paid for?
The current estimated cost is over $500 million. This includes
improvements to the existing interchanges and IH 30 and
IH 35E freeways, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, bicycle
and pedestrian improvements, intelligent transportation
systems, and employer trip reduction programs. The IH 30/IH
35E improvements will be an expensive project because it
includes replacing the existing freeways, bridges, and interchanges.
A more definitive estimate of the project cost will be determined
as part of this study.
the existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes appear to
be underutilized. Why include them in the design in place
of additional general purpose lanes?
With ever-increasing urban population and subsequent traffic
congestion, it is physically and economically impossible
to provide enough highway lanes to satisfy peak-period travel
demands. By increasing per-vehicle occupancy, HOV lanes
decrease the number of vehicles on the road and increase
the peak-time capacity of highways. The HOV lanes provide
improved travel time for commuters, enhanced bus operations,
better air quality, and a reduction in fuel consumption.
Research by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) identified
that HOV lanes in Houston and Dallas have proven to be successful
with 72 to 180 percent more people per lane moving on HOV
lanes than general-purpose lanes. Also, the average number
of people per vehicle increased by more than 15 percent.
Depending on conditions and length of the HOV lanes, travel
time reductions ranged from five to 18 minutes. In addition,
the HOV lanes generated more transit use. Bus operating
speeds nearly doubled, from 26 mph to 49 mph, resulting
in a transit operation that serves more people quicker and
more efficiently. (Source: TTI Research Report 1353-1, An
Evaluation of High-occupancy Vehicle Lanes in Texas, Dennis
L. Christiansen, Russell H. Henk, and Daniel E. Morris.
is involved in the study? How is the project being coordinated
It would be difficult for one agency to design and built
all of the recommended improvements. Besides the Texas Department
of Transportation, the governmental jurisdictions and agencies
involved in the project include the City of Dallas, Dallas
County, DART, North Texas Tollway Authority, North Texas
Council of Governments, Federal Highway Administration,
and coordination with other resource agencies such as the
Texas Historical Commission, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,
US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The Community Work Group is intended to provide broad-based
representation of the community at-large for PROJECT PEGASUS.
The primary role of this work group is to exchange information,
concerns and ideas between interest groups and the study
team relative to the project's design. Additionally, the
work group will monitor the study process from the community
perspective and review study materials as they are developed.
All Community Work Group meetings will open to the public,
with times and locations posted on the website.
other related transportation improvements are being planned
for Downtown Dallas?
Numerous transportation improvement projects that will benefit
mobility in Downtown Dallas are in various stages of planning,
design and construction. Brief summaries of selected projects
Parkway - The Trinity Parkway Corridor MTIS recommendations
included the Trinity Parkway as a planned 6-8 lane tollway
reliever route extending south from US 175 and connecting
with SH 183 in the area of IH35E. The locally preferred
alternative, identified in the MTIS, proposed that the
Parkway be constructed as a split couplet within the
Dallas Floodway levee system. The NTTA is currently
conducting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to
evaluate this alternative and other additional options
to determine the environmental impacts of each alternative.
If an alignment within the levees is chosen as the preferred
alternative from the EIS, construction of the Parkway
will utilize material excavated from the proposed lakes
and wetlands identified as part of the City of Dallas'
master plan for the existing Dallas Floodway. The City
of Dallas 1998 Capital Bond Program for the Trinity
River Corridor included partial funds for the Trinity
Parkway, which could also include two new bridges overpassing
the Dallas Floodway if a split couplet/riverside alignment
Rogers Freeway Extension - In November 1999, the
Regional Transportation Council/Texas Transportation
Commission Partnership approved $30 million in funding
for the Woodall Rodgers Extension across the Trinity
River to Singleton/Beckley Avenue. The City of Dallas
1998 Capital Bond Program for the Trinity River Corridor
included partial funds for the Woodall Rodgers Extension.
Schematic plans for the freeway extension were prepared
by TxDOT and have been approved by the FHWA. An Environmental
Assessment is under review by TxDOT Environmental Division
in Austin. A subsequent Public Hearing is anticipated
for Summer 2002.
Street Viaduct Restoration - The Houston Street
Viaduct crossing the Trinity Parkway and Lower Stemmons
Freeway is an historic structure listed on the National
Register of Historic Places. The viaduct restoration
and enhancement project is scheduled to begin construction
in Spring 2002.
30 Bridges over Trinity River - TxDOT identified
the need to replace the IH-30 bridges over 15 years
ago through the Bridge Inventory Inspection and Appraisal
Program. The bridges are being designed in two segments.
The portion of IH 30 west of Sylvan Ave. will include
increased capacity from 4-lanes existing to 5-lanes
with reversible HOV proposed each direction and will
begin construction in Mid 2002. The portion of IH 30
east of Sylvan is scheduled to begin construction in
possibly 2003. Collector/distributor roadways will be
included as part of a later design project.
35E Bridges over Trinity Parkway - TxDOT identified
the need to replace the IH 35E bridges approximately
four years ago, through the Bridge Inventory Inspection
and Appraisal Program. TxDOT is preparing plans for
the IH 35E bridges funded as part of the Bridge Replacement
Program. Collector/distributor roadways will be included
as part of a later project.
Southern Gateway... IH35/US67 Transportation Study
- Preparation of schematic plans for reconstructing
the portions of IH 35E/US67 south of PROJECT PEGASUS
will begin in Spring 2002. This MIS project has a three
East Gateway... IH30/US80 Major Investment Study
- Preparation of schematic plans for reconstruction
of the IH30/US80 freeways east of PROJECTPEGASUS has
been initiated by DART. This MIS project has a three
Road Bridge Replacement (from Harry Hines west)
- Design is underway for replacing the existing 4-lane
bridge over the Trinity River with a 6-lane bridge structure.
Enhancement funding is being sought for this improvement
35E and Loop 12 Interchange - Preliminary design
plans for reconstructing the IH 35E interchange with
Northwest Highway are nearing completion.
Avenue (east of Stemmons Freeway) - The NTTA is
planning to rebuild and widen the ramps connecting to
Downtown via the North Dallas Tollway.
will the funding be obtained for constructing Project Pegasus?
State and Federal funding sources will primarily be used
to fund the project. Construction funding has not been allocated
at this time. Local cost sharing will also be required to
pay any added cost of aesthetic urban design elements included
in the planned transportation facility improvements.
additional property be acquired as right-of-way for highway
improvements? If so, when will property owners know if their
property will be impacted?
TxDOT's goal is to minimize the need for property acquisition.
In fact, some of the alternatives could require less right-of-way
than the existing facilities. However, some additional property
will be required in the corridor, ranging from limited areas
in specific locations to more extensive impacts along other
sections of the corridor. The analysis of each potential
alternative will include an evaluation of right-of-way requirements
and potential disruption. This information will be presented
at Public Meetings/Hearings for input and feedback. Acquisition
of needed right-of-way would take place before construction
begins, which is next expected to begin before 2010.