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East Dallas Transformation Could Include Interstate-30 Deck Park

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Most people think of it as the not-so-fun ride in Fair Park. We’re talking about Interstate-30, just east of downtown and everyone knows the ride is slow – on a good day!

That existence is one that Michael McNeer lives. “I leave an hour early to miss all the traffic,” he said. As far as area improvements are concerned McNeer said, “Yeah, it’s overdue.”

But this time the improvement may not only be timely, but beautiful.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is now studying the infrastructure needed to build a deck park over I-30 at Exposition Boulevard.

The proposal is part of an environmental review to dramatically re-build the highway.

When asked what she thought of the idea Pizza Lounge manager Nicole Shurgot said, “I think it’s a great idea.”

They’ve been hand-tossing pies at Pizza Lounge for four and a half years. The business sits right across from Fair Park, and just down the road from where the deck park may soon be built.

“The only time people came down here is when there’s an event or something,” Shurgot said. “So if we have a park down here on a daily basis, people can come out and bring their families and hang out. That would bring more business to us because then it’s a year-round thing.”

TxDOT is also considering lowering I-30 from Exposition Boulevard to East Grand Avenue, and building various streets over it to connect neighborhoods north and south of the highway.

City planners hope the changes will attract investors to revitalize the area.

As far as I-30, it’s way too early to know how many more lanes would be built on the highway.

TxDOT spokesman Tony Hartzel explained, “These highways last two generations, 50 or 60 years, and when we get a chance to revisit it and some other concepts, and how we can better tie-in communities, that’s always a good thing.”

Area resident McNeer agrees. “Maybe it’d bring a little more class to the neighborhood. Klyde Warren Park downtown is really nice. We’ve been there.”

There’s no word on how much the project would cost.

The environmental review won’t be ready until 2017 and then approval would be required from state lawmakers.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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