Under the banner of DART Plus, DART is communicating the value and benefits of current and future construction projects, which include more than $2.5 billion in rail projects and expanding capacity on the current light rail system over the next five years. These capital investment projects build a better customer experience for our riders as well as expand North Texas' transportation options.
DOWNTOWN DALLAS LIGHT RAIL REPLACEMENT
DART Light Rail customers will have a smoother ride through downtown Dallas once the agency upgrades the rail and makes street repairs in the city's Central Business District.
The rail replacement project started in late March and will continue through the fall. DART is upgrading the worn rail in the downtown corridor between the Pearl/Arts District and West End
stations to the type and gauge used on the rest of the light rail system.
As part of the project, the agency will add a crossover near St. Paul Station to provide another place where trains can switch tracks, which will reduce service disruptions. Crews also will replace an existing crossover near West End Station and repair the underlying road and drainage at four street intersections.
The rail replacement and other track improvements will give the light rail system greater operational flexibility and eliminate ongoing maintenance issues.
DART is suspending weekend rail service through September to complete the work. Six bus shuttle routes will connect the affected stations during track replacement. Normal service resumes each weekday.
Once DART completes work to lengthen or modify train platforms at 28 light rail stations along the Red and Blue lines, the entire DART Rail System will accommodate three-car trains.
PLATFORM EXTENSIONS ON RED AND BLUE LINES
DART is lengthening platforms and modifying level-boarding areas at 28 light rail stations along the Red and Blue lines.
Once these rail stations can accommodate longer trains, the agency will have the capacity to move up to 33 percent more passengers per hour through downtown Dallas during the busiest operating times. Longer stations allow DART to operate longer trains, which means more seats, fewer people standing, and more doors to get on and off the train.
These stations lie outside of downtown Dallas and were built before 2004. All other light rail stations were either built to accommodate three-car trains or already have been modified.
Longer platforms mean DART will be able to operate three-car trains on any rail line during peak ridership hours or during special events when the trains are most crowded.
Crews will move and add level-boarding areas at the Red Line's four aerial stations, as those platforms were built long enough. At the remaining 24 stations, contractors will extend the platforms by approximately 100 feet, as well as move the level-boarding areas.
A third light rail vehicle on a train adds 100 more seats, room for 50 more standees and five more entry doors per side. Customers who board trains at the low-floor center car gain a third level-boarding accessible entrance.
Construction should begin in late spring and is scheduled to be complete in late 2021, with full operation of three-car trains in 2022. The Platform Extensions project is funded by grants from the
Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Authority.
COTTON BELT REGIONAL RAIL PROJECT
Residents in the northern part of the DART Service Area have a new rail option coming.
DART's 26-mile Cotton Belt Corridor spans from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to Shiloh Road in Plano. The alignment traverses seven cities: Plano, Richardson, Addison, Carrollton, Dallas, Coppell and Grapevine.
This project will improve mobility, accessibility and transit connections to major employment, population and activity centers. Regional rail also will support sustainable growth and economic development taking place in these communities.
The Cotton Belt line will intersect three DART Light Rail lines: The Red/Orange lines in both Richardson and Plano, the Green Line in Carrollton and the Orange Line at DFW Airport Station at Terminal A. Additionally, the project will connect to Trinity Metro's TEXRail to Fort Worth - which opened January 2019 - at the DFW Airport North and DFW Airport Terminal B stations.
DART has awarded the contract for construction of the Cotton Belt Regional Rail Project to rail builder Archer Western Herzog 4.0. The agency also approved a contract with WSP/AZ&B to act as the project manager and DART's representative.
Design work is expected to take six to eight months, followed by utility relocation and foundation work for bridges. Completion of the new rail line is expected in December 2022.
D2 SUBWAY: DALLAS CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT SECOND LIGHT RAIL ALIGNMENT
The D2 Subway rail corridor will travel through tunnels under downtown Dallas, much like the tunnel under North Central Expressway that connects the Pearl/Arts District and Mockingbird stations.
DART's light rail system will have improved capacity, flexibility and reliability with the addition of a second light rail corridor through downtown Dallas. The project, which has been named the D2 Subway, will improve access to, through and within the city center.
DART is looking at several ways to dig the D2 Subway tunnel. The agency wants to select the option that works best with the underground soil and water conditions and that reduces disruption to downtown streets and utilities. A tunnel boring machine (pictured above) is one of the options being evaluated.
Under the current light rail system, all four of DART's lines converge on the same tracks through downtown Dallas. The D2 Subway will allow DART to redistribute its rail lines between two rail corridors, operate more trains through downtown, and add needed operational flexibility. Bringing the D2 line underground also will help trains avoid surface disruptions.
DART is in the middle of the project development phase for the D2 Subway project, which is the first step in the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. This phase - which will take 18-24 months - includes developing
preliminary engineering design plans. DART also is preparing a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) that integrates the subway directive and assesses the benefits, impacts and costs of the project.
To date, the agency has reached the 10 percent level of design and has determined the soil types and rock depth along the route. DART is working toward the 20 percent level of design and will conduct environmental impact assessments concurrent with that effort.
The SDEIS will be available for public review and comment in late 2019. DART hopes to
complete the project development phase and gain FTA approval to enter the next CIG phase, called engineering, in 2020.