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Winter 2006 This link requires Internet access

  The offical newsletter of Dallas Area Rapid Transit

On our way!
On our way!

On a bright day this spring, construction crews will begin breaking up pavement on the eastern edge of downtown Dallas - the first step in straightening the curve of the DART Rail line as it comes up out of the tunnel from Cityplace and meanders to Pearl Station. More important, it signals the official start of construction on DART's long-awaited light rail expansion.

DART received the go-ahead to start construction in July in the form of a $260 million federal earmark - the first installment of the agency's $700 million federal funding request. That money will be overmatched with local funds to complete the $2.5 billion expansion, which by 2013 will give the DART Rail system more than 91 miles and 62 stations. New rail lines will extend southeast to Pleasant Grove, northwest to Farmers Branch and Carrollton, and west to Irving and DFW International Airport.

Expanding the ride
An expanded DART Rail System will require more transit vehicles to carry more people, and 20 new rail cars are being prepared for service. DART is also designing new low-floor inserts for the entire rail fleet that will add seats and will allow platform-level boarding for customers in wheelchairs, with strollers or bicycles, or anyone who has trouble stepping up into DART's regular cars.
DART Rail C Car
Links to new opportunities
The rail expansion will open in stages, bringing new connectivity and opportunities. By September 2009, you'll be able to ride DART Rail to restaurants and clubs in Deep Ellum, appointments at Baylor Medical Center, entertainment at the State Fair of Texas and the museums at Fair Park. By May 2010, the vast residential neighborhoods of Southeast Dallas will have rail stations, and by the end of the year, so will Pleasant Grove - providing ready transit for residents traveling to jobs and services throughout the system.

Work on the Northwest line begins in the spring, too, with the demolition of existing freight rails. By October 2010, sleek DART trains will glide along new rails, delivering buyers and sellers to the Dallas Market Center, and doctors, patients, teachers and students to the huge Medical Center complex. By December of that year, Farmers Branch and Carrollton will be popular destinations - and starting points - for DART Rail customers.

By and for the public
Even while DART was waiting to break ground, there was plenty of activity behind the scenes. A construction manager/general contractor has been helping with final engineering design and review, while community groups have been meeting to consider individual station design and art.

In East Dallas, where the new rail alignment requires removing the mural-covered Good-Latimer underpass, the public has been a driving force in ensuring that some of the art is saved. Through DART's public involvement program, community members provided input and helped build a consensus to create the Deep Ellum Gateway - destined to be a landmark on the Southeast rail line.

Meanwhile, in the Northwest corridor, an open house in late October sought public input on final designs for rail segments from Bomar Avenue to Community Drive near Love Field, Community to Valley View Lane in Farmers Branch, and the new NW Rail Operating Facility at Denton Drive and Lombardy Lane. A similar meeting in mid-November provided details on the preliminary engineering and environmental impact studies for the rail extension through North Irving to DFW International Airport.

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