Interstate 345

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Interstate 345 marker

Interstate 345
Central Dallas with I-345 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by TxDOT
Length: 1.4 mi[1] (2.3 km)
Existed: August 23, 1973 (1973-08-23) – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑30 / I‑45 in Dallas
North end: US 75 / Spur 366 in Dallas
Highway system
SH 344 SH 345

Interstate 345 (I-345) is the 1.4-mile-long (2.3 km) freeway connecting I-45 (which ends at the intersection with Interstate 30) with U.S. Highway 75 (US 75, North Central Expressway) at Spur 366 (Woodall Rodgers Freeway) in Dallas. Few maps actually display the road as I-345; sign posts on the road only show US 75. In recent years, a debate over whether to maintain or decommission I-345 has received increased attention from several Dallas media outlets.

Route description[edit]

I-345 serves as the connection between I-45 and the North Central Expressway (US 75). It starts at the intersection of I-45 and I-30, passes by downtown Dallas and connects to US 75 at the Spur 366 junction. The entire stretch of I-345 is elevated allowing for better connections between the Central Business District and Deep Ellum.

Although I-345 uses its own mileposts, the exit numbering is not consistent. The exit numbers on the northbound stretch count upwards from the I-45 numbers (the exit for Spur 366 being labeled as exit 286A), while on the southbound stretch the Spur 366 exit is numbered exit 1A, followed by the exit for Ross Avenue numbered exit 285.[2]

History[edit]

1955 "Yellow Book" plan for Interstates in Dallas

In 1964 I-345, extending I-45 north along the proposed Central Expressway bypass, was added as a proposed state highway.[1] I-345 was built and opened in the 1970s. At the north end, before it merged into the Central Expressway (which continued to carry US 75), I-345 straddled the bridges over Bryan Street and Ross Avenue, the latter the location of the opening ceremonies in 1949.[3] Because of their location, these two bridges were not replaced in the 1990s reconstruction of the North Central Expressway, and are the only surviving grade separations from the initial construction north from downtown.[4]

Decommissioning/Removal proposal[edit]

There has recently been a growing level of local news coverage of a proposal to completely remove I-345, and decommission it from the Interstate Highway System.

The proposal would demolish the elevated structure but, instead of replacing it with a below-grade structure (similar to that of Woodall Rogers), it would be replaced with an at-grade parkway and reconnected streets (some of which are disconnected by the current structure).

Media outlets, including The Dallas Morning News,[5][6][7] the Dallas Observer,[8][9] and D Magazine[10] first discussed the proposal in 2012 and 2013.

In February 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced it plans to spend $100 million to repair the existing I-345 structure,[11] but Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings responded by saying that the decommissioning/removal alternative should be further considered before any repair.[12] After further investigation, Rawlings concluded that repairs should proceed in advance of a study and decision on the fate of the road. [13]

In April 2014, Michael Morris, the transportation director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, created controversy by suggesting that proponents of the decommissioning/removal are predominantly white, wealthy, and do not live in the area near I-345, as opposed to predominantly African-American, working class, South Dallas residents that could be affected by the decommissioning/removal.[14] Morris later apologized for his comments.[15]

With its May 2014 issue, D Magazine became the first major local news publication to endorse the decommissioning/removal proposal.[16]

Exit list[edit]

The entire highway is in Dallas, Dallas County.

Mile km Exit Destinations Notes
I‑45 – Houston Southbound exit and northbound entrance
284A I‑30 (East R. L. Thornton Freeway)
284B Main Street west, Elm Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
284C Live Oak Street – Downtown Dallas Southbound exit and northbound entrance
285 Bryan Street east Northbound exit and southbound entrance
285 Ross Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
286A Spur 366 (Woodall Rodgers Freeway) to I‑35E – Denton Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1A Spur 366 (Woodall Rodgers Freeway) to I‑35E – Denton Southbound exit
US 75 north (North Central Expressway) – McKinney Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division. "Interstate Highway No. 345". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Interstate 345 Texas". AA Roads Interstate Guide. January 13, 2007. [self-published source]
  3. ^ "North Central Turns 35 Today". The Dallas Morning News. August 19, 1984. 
  4. ^ "Structure Type by Year Built". National Bridge Inventory. Federal Highway Administration. 2006. 
  5. ^ Lindenberger, Michael (May 3, 2012). "A toll road foe's challenge to Mayor Rawlings: Build your road, but tear down I-345, too". The Dallas Morning News. 
  6. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (December 12, 2012). "At TxDOT hearing, leaving comments and making the case for tearing down highway separating Deep Ellum, downtown". The Dallas Morning News. 
  7. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (May 27, 2013). "Update: As debate revs up, a site launches to make the case for tearing down freeway separating downtown, Deep Ellum". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ Nicholson, Eric (November 27, 2012). "TxDOT Wondering What to Do With Bridge Between I-30 and Woodall Rodgers. (Hint: They're Not Going to Tear It Down)". Dallas Observer. 
  9. ^ Nicholson, Eric (May 28, 2013). "The Push to Tear Down I-345 Gains Steam". Dallas Observer. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ Kennedy, Patrick (January 21, 2013). "How Dallas is Throwing Away $4 Billion". D Magazine. 
  11. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (February 10, 2014). "Memo: With Interstate 345 staying (until at least 2040), Dallas is ready to design downtown’s Carpenter Park". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (February 12, 2014). "TxDOT has decided to keep the highway separating Deep Ellum and downtown, but Mayor Rawlings hasn’t". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Jones, Rodger (April 2, 2014). "Complete statement from Mayor Rawlings on tearing down I-345". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ Formby, Brandon (April 3, 2014). "Transportation official: I-345 debate pushed by the wealthy, misses voices of the poor". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  15. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (April 9, 2014). "NCTCOG transpo director Michael Morris apologizes for dismissing I-345 teardown proponents as ‘white,’ ‘wealthy’". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ Allison, Wick (May 2014). "How to Build Another Uptown". D Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing