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USDOT approves $120 million loan for Dallas light-rail extension

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has approved a $120 million loan for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to advance construction on the first phase of its Orange Line light-rail extension.

DART's loan through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) will help finance the $397 million Orange Line Phase III expansion, according to USDOT officials. The 35-year loan will fund construction of a key 5.17-mile segment of the 14.5-mile Orange Line.

"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 Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff in a prepared statement.

The extension will connect Irving, Texas, with Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as part of a long-term plan to create a 90-mile light-rail network by 2014 to serve the Dallas area. Once completed, the expanded line will improve the east-west connections between the airport and DART's system by connecting the Green Line that runs through downtown Dallas and connects to commuter rail and other transit services.

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