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Right of Way Clearance for 161 Freeway (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Last updated February 15, 2013

The 161 Freeway has been in DFW planning documents since the 1960s. The project was held up in litigation for a long time, mainly because of the impacts in Grand Prairie where substantial right-of-way clearance would be needed.

All legal challenges were finally dismissed in February 2000. When I took these photos on March 14, 2004, right-of-way clearance was substantially complete.

June 6, 2004 Update (new photos at the end of this page)
The McDonalds and Taco Bell are gone. All the homes in the residential area are now gone, including the solitary home I photographed on March 14. The church has been reduced to its structural components and its roof. One warehouse has been reduced to its structural shell, and the adjacent warehouse looks like it is next in line for dismantlement. The only other structure left is the strip shopping center near Interstate 30.

October 2012 Update: The final section of tolled main lanes on SH 161/Bush Turnpike opened on October 15, 2012. The final section was between Interstates 30 and 20 and included the area shown in these photos.

This view shows the alignment of the freeway, with the region of right-of-way clearance indicated. The sharp curve in the freeway alignment is to minimize the impact to the area. We'll start at the south end of the clearance zone and move northward.

Just south of the clearance zone, frontage roads are in place. The freeway is called the West Freeway.

This view looks north just north of the railroad tracks. This was a residential area with substandard, pre-World War II housing. Residents are mostly spanish-speaking. Only one structure remains.

Looking north along the street.

A closer view of the last remaining house in this area.

Looking through the window.

A back view of the same house.

Nearby, this house appears to be awaiting relocation (rather than demolition).

To the north, only slabs remain.

Moving northward and westward, the freeway alignment crosses through an area with better-quality housing. Houses are already cleared in this view.

Just to the left of the view above, a couple houses are being demolished. It looks like the structures are being salvaged brick-by-brick.

Most of the houses on the street are already cleared.

Only slabs remain here.

Further north, a medium-sized church is awaiting demolition.

Worshippers are no longer welcome here.

Near the church another house is being taken apart.

Another view of the house.

Across the street from the house, a slab remains.

Moving northward, the freeway alignment merges with 19th Steet. This warehouse-style office building is vacant.

The sign on the door informs customers of the relocation.

Moving northward, the alignment approaches IH-30. Just south of IH-30 there are some commercial structures in the way. Most of the structures are already vacated. This is a former Taco Bell.

The sign on the door informs customers of the freeway.

An adjacent strip center is mostly vacant.

The McDonald's ahead is boarded up.

A closer view of the McDonald's.

June 5, 2004 Photos

The church has been reduced to its structural shell.

A side view of the church.

A closer view of the church.

One of the warehouses along 19th street is being dismantled.

Another view of the warehouse.