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12/5/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

DART to cut up to $900 million in North Irving, Rowlett project costs


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Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officials are seeking ways to trim up to $900 million in projected costs for light-rail extensions to North Irving, DFW International Airport and Rowlett, Texas. The agency’s 20-year financial plan includes $988 million for the Irving and Rowlett extensions, but a preliminary review showed escalating construction costs will bring the construction total closer to $1.9 billion.

Officials will determine cost reductions in all of DART’s programmed capital costs, not just those associated with the system expansion. They also will examine financing options, the potential for public/private partnerships and other revenue sources.

In addition, DART might delay the projected opening date of the first leg of the 14-mile North Irving line — a 5.1-mile segment from Bachman Lake to Las Colinas Urban Center — up to one year. The current financial plan calls for completing the entire North Irving line to DFW Airport in 2013; the five-mile Rowlett line is scheduled to open in 2012.

The cost-cutting measures will not affect DART’s $1.7 billion, 28-mile Green Line, which currently is under construction. The line would extend from Pleasant Grove in southeast Dallas, through Deep Ellum and downtown Dallas, to the Medical/Market District, Love Field Airport, Farmers Branch and Carrollton.


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