A river. A park. A projected destination near downtown Dallas.
The Trinity River project is expected to be a beauty.
But winding along it could be something tall, environmentally green and what some consider intrusive.
Discussion has started at city hall about lining a two-mile section of the Trinity toll road with wind turbines – 80 of them, all 80 feet tall.
The Dallas City Council, as of this week, is studying whether to add wind turbines.
The tollway authority video of the Trinity parkway shows landscaping in the median.
But the city council is looking at adding something more than plants, according to city council member Dave Neumann, who chairs the Trinity River committee, “It’s actually a very green, very environmentally-friendly sustainability concept of putting wind turbines along the Trinity parkway.”
Wind turbines to generate half the power to run the parkway’s lights.
City documents show the turbines in the median 110 feet apart and visible over the levees.
Richard Knox, whose business property is next to the east levee, closely watched city plans just approved to relocate overhead power lines from along the park.
He doesn’t want to watch wind turbines. “They’re going to be moving these towers to not interfere with the view, so why would we more items to… interfere with our view of the river and the development,” he said.
Along the west levee, Oncor will spend millions of dollars in the next year burying high voltage lines under Canada Drive to clear the view near downtown.
The city says the parkway turbines would be smaller than those erected in west Texas wind farms.
The blades would be 20 feet long.
That still makes little sense to Angela Hunt, the city council member who led the effort last year to take the toll road outside the levees. “The whole point of burying the power lines is we don’t want these looming over our natural area. I think the same goes for windmills,” she said.
Regarding the risk to birds, Audubon Texas says the turbines would cause minimal impact since they’re in a median but wants more details.
Neumann questions how the turbines can compliment the park.
Everyone is asking how the $5.4 million cost would be covered since there’s no money in the budget for wind turbines.
By Brad Watson
20 June 2008
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