10. McKinney Lamar Viaduct / Continental Viaduct c.1931
Completed in 1931, the McKinney-Lamar (Continental) Viaduct was one of 4 vehicular bridges created in the early 1930's to alleviate traffic and congestion to and from Oak Cliff. It also provided routes free from worry of flooding from the Trinity River. Before the completion of the 4 viaducts, the Houston viaduct served as the sole secure connection to and from Dallas. The other bridges along with a streetcar viaduct were at Commerce, Cadiz and Corinth. A $6,950,000 bond issue was approved by voters on 3 April 1928, which provided for the construction of the bridges.
The $6,950,000 bond issue was tied to a larger $23,900,000 Ulrickson Plan bond issue, which called for civic improvements over a nine year period and incorporated elements of an earlier plan by George Kessler that would straighten and move the Trinity and construct 25 miles of levees. The catastrophic flood of 1908 had motivated city leaders to make sure such a devastating event never did such damage ever again.
The Cadiz was demolished to make way for I-35.
The preferred build alternative 3C of the modern day Trinity Toll Road adversely impacts this important historical and cultural resource. The above new beautiful deck park cost $8.35 million. If the toll road is built, the area above to approximately the second or third light pole would have to be removed and rebuilt.
According to NTTA's own documents on their website and at a presentation on April 24 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center:
Approximately 195 linear feet of the viaduct’s approach spans on the land side of the east levee would be reconstructed. The bridge section would be replaced with larger spans to allow connecting ramps to the Woodall Rodgers Freeway to pass under the bridge on the land side of the east levee. Ramps to and from the main lanes would connect to the new bridge section on the land side of the east levee. Roadway embankment for the main lanes would fill around a portion of 10 bridge piers up to a height of approximately 10 feet from the existing floodway floor. The existing exposed pier height is typically 40 feet. A flood separation wall with a height of approximately 18 feet would be located on the river side of the main lanes and would pass under the viaduct with no physical connection. The Build Alternative would impact the integrity of design, materials, and workmanship of the Continental Avenue Viaduct, resulting in an adverse effect on the viaduct.
The Continental Avenue Viaduct was constructed in 1931 and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. (eligible under Criteria A, Community Development, and C, Engineering).
The No-Build Alternative does not adversly impact any Dallas historical resources.