The City Council of Dallas, Texas, has gone ahead and given preliminary approval to the creation of a new light-rail line intended to improve transportation options in the city’s downtown core, according to recent reports.
This proposed second downtown light-rail line could begin construction within only a few years, following final approval. The city’s transportation association, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), is currently looking to secure $400 million in federal funding to develop the project.
As far as the route that the potential light-rail line would take through the downtown area, the City Council “overwhelmingly” chose the Jackson or Modified B4 alignment — rather than the alternative route up for vote, which would have gone underground, which was supported by only one City Council member.
The intention behind the proposal is reportedly to ease difficulties facing the current downtown DART light-rail system. That said, the project isn’t unanimously supported — some local businesses, apartment buildings, etc, have voiced opposition.
Alternative routes will reportedly be explored, partly in reaction to this opposition, but also simply because that’s part of the federal funding process for such projects.
If the project continues to move forward, then construction could start as soon as 2017 — with completion then being set for sometime by or after 2021. That’s of course assuming that things move along at a decent pace — light-rail projects in the US have a tendency to have a really protracted development period, largely due to regulatory hurdles and NIMBYism.