DART Prez: Orange Line to DFW's Terminal A Will "Complete That Big-City System"

A rendering of the Belt Line Station on the Orange Line, the last stop before Dallas-Fort Worth Airport's Terminal A come 2014
A rendering of the Belt Line Station on the Orange Line, the last stop before Dallas-Fort Worth Airport's Terminal A come 2014
Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Last night Dallas Area Rapid Transit sent word that its board of directors signed off on the design-build contract that'll push the under-construction Orange Line the final 5.2 miles that'll get it to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport's Terminal A. Long story short: You'll be able to light-rail it from DART to DFW beginning, fingers crossed, December 15, 2014. At a cost of $149,750,000 -- though, as DART notes in its release on the other side, it is going after $130 million in federal TIGER III grant money, applications for which were due on Halloween, so for now it's very wait-n-see.

Some of the Orange Line's due to open next year, of course: Bachman Station to the Las Colinas Convention Center bows July 30, with the section that continues on to the Belt Line Station set for a December 3 roll-out. But it's the final leg to the airport, where DFW's building the Terminal A stop, that has DART President Gary Thomas the mostest excited, as you'll see in one of two videos that follows. Says he, the DFW station "completes that big-city system we've been working so hard on for the last several years." He forgot to mention "world-class."

DART takes next steps to direct DFW Airport connection

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is making the final push to DFW Airport with the award of a design-build contract to construct a 5.2-mile extension of the Orange Line from the future Belt Line Station to the airport's Terminal A. A joint venture of Kiewit, Stacy and Witbeck, Reyes, Parsons (KSWRP) was selected by the DART Board of Directors to complete the $149,750,000 project known as Irving-3 (I-3).

Construction should begin in early 2012 and the I-3 section is scheduled to open on December 15, 2014. DFW Airport is building the Terminal A station. The first two sections of the Orange Line -- Bachman Station to Las Colinas Convention Center and then on to Belt Line Station at SH 161 and Belt Line on DFW Airport property -- will open July 30, 2012 and December 3, 2012, respectively. Those two sections are also being built by the KSWRP joint venture.

The project will be funded locally, however because of its multi-modal nature (airport service, light rail and buses), DART is pursuing $130 million in federal funds under the TIGER III program which are aimed at multi-modal transportation projects. Receiving the federal funds could free up local dollars for other agency projects.

"So many people and agencies worked to bring I-3 forward," DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas said. "We have benefitted from the great support of the City of Irving and the tremendous cooperation of DFW Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Transportation Administration. We are ready to get to work."

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