Friday, December 14, 2012

DART gets grant for DFW airport LRT access

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Thursday approved a nearly $120 million loan that will enable Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to advance construction on the third phase of its light rail transit Orange Line extension project.

The extension will connect Irving, Tex., with Dallas/Fort Worth, part of DART's long-term effort to obtain airport access by December 2014.

"This investment will continue expanding Dallas' Orange Line, creating jobs and delivering a major transportation project that will help the regional economy continue to grow and prosper," said LaHood.

DART's $119.9 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan will help finance the $397 million Orange Line Phase III expansion. The 35-year direct loan will be used to fund construction of a key 5.17-mile segment of DART's 14.5-mile light rail Orange Line. Once completed, the expanded line will improve east-west connections between DFW and the DART system by connecting to the Green Line that runs through downtown Dallas as well as to other transit services, including regional ("commuter") rail.

"The TIFIA program is instrumental in helping Dallas realize an ambitious goal to complete one of the largest light rail systems in the country," said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.

A DART spokesman notes DFW Airport "is already working on construction of the station" at Terminal A.