July 27, 2023 - TRA Newswire -
High-speed travel across DFW is one step closer with the Phase 2 kickoff of the Dallas-Fort Worth High Speed Transportation Connections Study (DFWHSTCS).
“We are laying important groundwork so the project runs smoothly, gaining support and momentum,” said Michael Morris, PE, North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Director of Transportation. Plans regarding engineering, environmental effects, ridership estimates, operations and maintenance, implementation, and finances for the corridor will be drafted over the next year and a half. “Most importantly, Phase 2 lets the community give further input to help us shape the project in ways that benefit everyone in the community,” continued Morris.
After initial design plans are completed by early fall, NCTCOG will begin documentation for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, a federal requirement for assessing the project’s potential effects on the community and natural environment.
“These are exciting times to be living and working in Texas, and NCTCOG looks forward to collaborating across our state to make high-speed transportation a reality,” added Morris.
Possibilities for high-speed transportation continue to emerge as experts study more in-depth how DFWHSTCS should connect to Texas’ other major metro areas. NCTCOG is studying the potential to incorporate the federally approved high-speed rail (HSR) alignment proposed between Dallas and Houston with DFWHSTCS.
“Of course, our team is enthusiastic about the multiple HSR possibilities emerging across Texas and what they mean to North Central Texas. We are focused on moving full speed ahead with DFWHSTCS to reach environmental clearance within the next 16 months, effectively advancing this project to the level of planning of the proposed alignment between Dallas and Houston,” said Dan Lamers, PE, NCTCOG Senior Project Manager.
“The proposed alignment and mode of transportation emphasize safety, speed, and limiting disruptions to the community,” noted Lamers. “There are no intersections with roads, preventing the possibility of collisions with vehicles.” The planned route connects the existing Fort Worth Central Station and a proposed station in Dallas near Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. A third proposed station in the Arlington Entertainment District could provide easy access to top destinations such as AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Field, and Six Flags Over Texas.
Phase 1 of DFWHSTCS explored how to bring high-speed transportation to North Texas. After reviewing five transportation modes and 43 potential routes, NCTCOG determined high-speed rail (HSR) along I-30 was the best way to link Fort Worth and Dallas quickly and reliably.
Phase 1 documented the pressing need for high-speed transportation between Dallas and Fort Worth. DFW is forecasted to grow nearly 50% by 2045, at which point 11.4 million people will call the area home. This population boom will add millions of motorists onto already congested roads, leading to increased travel times. “Sure, you could still drive between Fort Worth and Dallas if you really wanted, or you could hop on HSR and get there in just 23 minutes,” said Lamers. “So kick back, relax, and wave at drivers stuck in traffic while you zip by at high-speed.”
Photo credit: NCTCOG