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Summer 2008 This link requires Internet access

  The offical newsletter of Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Growing the Green Line

An ambitious rail expansion project takes shape.

Image: Fair Park Station construction. The Green Line is speeding toward a September 2009 opening at the front gates of historic Fair Park and the State Fair of Texas.

One of the largest light rail projects in the country, our 28-mile, $1.8-billion Green Line is gaining momentum daily.

Opening in September 2009, the initial phase will bring the first urban rail service to the ceremonial entrance of the State Fair of Texas in more than 50 years.

"Our goal is for Fair Park to be a year-round destination for family fun," says Craig Holcomb, president of the Friends of Fair Park. "Clearly, the DART Green Line will be a huge part of that - in fact, the new station will be the biggest thing to happen to Fair Park in decades."

In December 2010, the line will be complete with service stretching southeast as far as the Pleasant Grove neighborhood and northwest through Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas, to Victory Park, the Dallas Market Center, the Southwestern Medical District, Love Field Airport vicinity, as well as the cities of Farmers Branch and Carrollton.

Image: Deep Ellum Station.

Image: MLK Station.
Deep Ellum Station (top) and MLK Station (bottom) will be among the first to open to customers when the Green Line opens in September 2009.
"We're moving along at a good clip on the entire length of the corridor," says Diane Gollhofer, assistant vice president of DART Construction Management. "Work is under way at all 19 stations."

Many of those station designs are now emerging, with DART's iconic canopies rising up and down the line. Excitement is building; for many city planners, developers and converts to the transit-oriented lifestyle, the Green Line can't come fast enough.

Going Orange with a new strategy
Also sparking anticipation is the start of construction on our 14-mile Orange Line, slated to serve North Irving in late 2011, and provide the first-ever urban rail service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 2013.

Station sites already have attracted an impressive $4 billion in planned or projected multi-use developments.

In late 2007, escalating construction costs - attributed in large part to the worldwide shortage of concrete, steel and other heavy construction materials - threatened to delay the Orange Line and a 4.75-mile Blue Line extension from Garland to Rowlett. But timelines for both projects were restored in January 2008 through a combination of value engineering, adjustments to DART's 20-Year Financial Plan, and the launch of the agency's first-ever design-build contract initiative.

Image: DART Rail Green and Orange Lines Map.

Creating the next American Dream
A dozen years ago, it was hard to imagine Greater Dallas at the forefront of American public transit renaissance. Yet today, cities from coast to coast are eying our success.

So what does the future have in store?

It's a future that looks bright to Chris Leinberger, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan. "There is reason to believe Dallas' destiny is to become a national model for the next American Dream - a major concentration of walkable urban places," he says. "And the investment that's been made in DART is chief among those reasons."

Leinberger acknowledges that it may be a couple of decades before Dallas is one of the most walkable cities in the country. But he seems confident that the day will come. "One day you turn around, and everything seems to have changed in the blink of an eye," he says. That's North Texas. That's DART.

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