14 November 2005
Welcome to the Big Scrape
This morning at ten, groundbreaking ceremonies will be held for the new Interstate 40, a $360 million realignment of the Crosstown Expressway. The new freeway will be ten lanes instead of (mostly) six, and will run about five blocks south of the old one.
Presently I-40 through downtown carries about 150 percent of the traffic for which it was designed. The roadway is in bad shape, though the elevated deck itself seems to be holding up fairly well. (Rumors that the Crosstown is "crumbling" pop up occasionally; the lack of ongoing emergency repairs would seem to indicate otherwise.) The motivations for starting now, before all the funding is in place, would seem to be two: to hype a new and expanded downtown, no longer split by the old Crosstown, and to kill off any chance of a rail-transit system that might utilize the existing Union Station.
At least this won't take as long as the I-35 reconstruction project, which began under King George III.Posted at 8:03 AM to City Scene