Interstate 345
North Central Expressway
Central Dallas with I-345 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-45
Maintained by TxDOT
Length1.4 mi[1] (2.3 km)
ExistedAugust 23, 1973 (1973-08-23)–present
Major junctions
South end I-30 / I-45 in Dallas
North end US 75 / Spur 366 in Dallas
Location
CountiesDallas
Highway system
SH 344 SH 345

Interstate 345 (I-345[a]) is a 1.4-mile-long (2.3 km) Auxiliary Interstate Highway in the city of Dallas within the US state of Texas. It is a freeway that connects I-45 (which ends at the interchange with I-30) with U.S. Highway 75 (US 75; North Central Expressway) at State Highway Spur 366 (Spur 366; Woodall Rodgers Freeway). Few maps actually display the road as I-345; signposts on the road show US 75 northbound, while southbound the highway is signed as I-45. In recent years, a debate over whether to maintain or decommission I-345 has received increased attention from several Dallas media outlets.

Route description

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 Downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum.

Although I-345 uses its own mileposts, the exit numbering is not consistent. The exit numbers on the northbound stretch count upward 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.[3]

History

1955 "Yellow Book" plan for Interstates in Dallas
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.[4] 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.[5]

Future

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 due to the fact that the Interstate separates the Downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum neighborhoods.[6]

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,[7][8][9] the Dallas Observer,[10][11], and D Magazine,[12] first discussed the proposal in 2012 and 2013.

In February 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced plans to spend $100 million (equivalent to $110 million in 2020[13]) to repair the existing I-345 structure,[14] but Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings responded by saying that the decommissioning/removal alternative should be further considered before any repair.[15] After further investigation, Rawlings concluded that repairs should proceed in advance of a study and decision on the fate of the road.[16]

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 Black-American, working class, South Dallas residents that could be affected by the decommissioning/removal.[17] Morris later apologized for his comments.[18]

With its May 2014 issue, D Magazine became the first major local news publication to endorse the decommissioning/removal proposal.[19]

In September 2016, TxDOT published the CityMAP Assessment Report, which included an analysis of the effects of highway removal on the I-345 corridor.[20]

In April 2021, the Toole Design Group created a draft report to further study the impacts of the changes in mobility from the highway removal; the draft report was presented to Dallas city council.[21]

Exit list

The entire highway is in Dallas, Dallas County.

mikmExitDestinationsNotes
0.000.00 I-45 south – Houston
284A I-30I-30 east exit 46; west exit 47B
0.470.76284BMain Street west, Elm StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
0.811.30Live Oak StreetSouthbound exit only
284CGood-Latimer ExpresswayDowntown DallasSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
0.961.54285Bryan Street eastNorthbound exit only
1.231.98Ross AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
1.422.29286A
To I-35E (via Spur 366) – Waco, Denton
US 75 north – McKinney
Signed as exit 1A southbound; continues north as US 75
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Some sources use "IH-345", as "IH" is an abbreviation used by the Texas Department of Transportation for Interstate Highways.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Interstate Highway No. 345". Highway Designation Files. Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Transportation Planning and Programming Division (n.d.). "Highway Designations Glossary". Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  3. ^ "Interstate 345 Texas". AA Roads Interstate Guide. January 13, 2007.[self-published source]
  4. ^ "North Central Turns 35 Today". The Dallas Morning News. August 19, 1984.
  5. ^ "Structure Type by Year Built". National Bridge Inventory. Federal Highway Administration. 2006.
  6. ^ "Why We Must Tear Down I-345". D Magazine. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Nicholson, Eric (May 28, 2013). "The Push to Tear Down I-345 Gains Steam". Dallas Observer. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  12. ^ Kennedy, Patrick (January 21, 2013). "How Dallas is Throwing Away $4 Billion". D Magazine.
  13. ^ Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2022). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved February 12, 2022. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  14. ^ 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. Archived from the original on June 26, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Jones, Rodger (April 2, 2014). "Complete statement from Mayor Rawlings on tearing down I-345". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Allison, Wick (May 2014). "How to Build Another Uptown". D Magazine. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  20. ^ "DALLASCITYMAP.COM". dallascitymap.com. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  21. ^ "A New Plan for Tearing Down I-345". D Magazine. April 15, 2021. Retrieved May 27, 2021.

Route map: