The Trinity levees, and unsafe they are

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, if only because there isn’t much left to say. To quote from the briefing paper given to the City Council summarizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer findings: “The report includes an overall Unacceptable Rating for the Dallas Floodway System based on the fact that it will not contain a Standard Project Flood (+4).”

In other words, the Trinity River levees won’t withstand a major flood that is considered “reasonably characteristic of the geographical area.” Which we had in 1990.

Or, in other, other words: Oops.

You can check out the news stories here and here. The Corps’ report is here (all 6.67 megabytes of it).  Councilwoman Angela Hunt’s take – “We must fix our levees immediately. We cannot let the toll road continue to delay our levee improvements.” — is here.

The briefing paper, which is fascinating reading for anyone who speaks bureaucrat, insists that all is well, and that levee repairs are part of the city’s grand vision for the Trinity. It blames the Corps for tightening standards, and assures us that the necessary repairs will be made. It doesn’t mention where the money will come from, but Mayor Park Cities has already assured us that there are buckets of cash available.

Buckets? The only buckets around here look like they’ll be used for bailing.



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  • chas

    Remember all those town hall meetings? And I thought I was an informed voter when I voted for the record Trinity River Bond referendum. Had I known that years later the City explaination of what I was voting for (remember all those lovely renderings of sailboats and joggers and no where in view a high speed roadway) was actually a tollway I would have said “no thanks”, better left as it is.

    As major US Cities remove their freeways from their urban centers and waterfronts we are decades behind the movement to make our downtown liveable. When Dallas should be leaning on our suburbs to share the load of regional traffic, we instead agree to funnel through traffic right through our CBD and use our most precious remaining opportunity to create an incredible recreational resource for those who chose urban life.

    Leave it to the US Corps to remind us that its probably foolhardy to build a roadway inside our floodway. The King is wearing no clothes.