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Toll Road Opponents Hold 'Funeral' For Trinity Parkway Project

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - If protesting the proposed Trinity River toll road with a mock funeral seems like a 'ridiculous' idea, the man who led Sunday's procession said that was the point.

"I thought we should do something equally as ridiculous as the project itself," said community activist Jason Roberts.

Roberts led a group of nearly a hundred Oak Cliff residents on a tongue-in-cheek old fashion jazz funeral procession Sunday through the Bishop Arts District.

The procession included pallbearers carrying a ceremonial casket.

At the end of the procession, cocktails were served with Matchbox cars in the drinks. The bartenders called them the Flooded Parkways.

"Maybe the project is not dead but for those of us in this community it's dead to us," said Roberts.

More than a decade after voters first approved the Trinity River toll road as a part of a bond package, the environment clearance study is nearing completion. A final report could be ready in the next four to six months.

The proposed nine mile six lane toll road would connect I-35E north of downtown to I-45 on the southeast side of downtown.

The idea of the bypass is to alleviate some of the traffic on I-35E as well as I-30.

"It's needed because of an historical problem as you approach downtown Dallas," said Michael Morris, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. "You lose lanes and capacity as you come into downtown. The Trinity project reestablishes this lane balance that we need."

Morris said once the environmental study is complete, he'll begin working to secure the estimated $1.3-billion to pay for the toll road.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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