In January, before many people were aware that a little-known corporation with the powers of eminent domain wanted to build a private toll road through the rural communities east of Lake Lavon and Lake Ray Hubbard, the Texas Department of Transportation was promising in a written agreement to help the company get approval for the tollway from the Texas Transportation Commission. "TxDOT agrees to support the Corporation in its efforts to perform activities required to be completed before applying for or obtaining approval from the Commission under the applicable provisions by reviewing and commenting on the preliminary Project studies and other documentation prepared by the Corporation..." the agreement says.
The agreement, called a memorandum of understanding, also discusses a potential route for the tollway that has never been publicly discussed before, a route that would have invaded downtown Dallas: "In addition, a potential Phase III could extend the project westward from the President George Bush Turnpike towards the Dallas central business district," the agreement says.
In public meetings, the Texas Turnpike Corporation and the North Central Texas Council of Governments have only discussed a route that starts at the Bush Turnpike and extends east to Greenville, but that safely leaves all of us urban Dallasites out of the equation. More »