The creation of an ultra-modern automobile artery for Dallas was a dream and pet project of Mayor Woodall Rodgers. In the early 1940s, he though his dream would finally become a reality.
Those early plans for what was then named Central Boulevard called for a seven-mile stretch of road from Holmes Street (just south of Downtown) to what was then Highway 75. Central was to proceed north to Northwest Highway.
Traffic engineers believed Central would bring Northeast Dallas about five minutes closer to “town.”
Even in those early 1940s, an elevated road was considered, and there was talk of underground lanes. Some objected because ventilating and lighting would run up the cost of the project.
The question then – as many still wonder today – was: “What will Central be like when it is completed?”
Many will remember the men who served on the City Council and made up the delegation to Houston to obtain the right-of-way from the Southern Pacific Railway.
They are L.L. Heigel, E.A. Baugh, R.L. Thornton and J.W. Aston. W.J. Powell, consulting engineer, was employed to devote himself full-time to this project.