DFW — DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) hosted six ceremonial groundbreakings for its Silver Line on Thursday, Sept. 19. The rail line will run 26 miles, connecting DFW International Airport to Grapevine, Coppell, Dallas, Carrollton, Addison, Richardson and Plano.
The Silver Line will extend 60 miles along the historic Cotton Belt corridor from Plano to Fort Worth. DART estimates 11,200 people will be riding the line by 2040.
The groundbreaking activities consisted of presentations by the mayor or a representative of the cities along the new line, including Coppell, Addison, Carrollton, Dallas, Richardson and Plano.
Following the final groundbreaking, the crowd adjourned to the Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel for lunch.
“We’ve had a busy morning today, breaking ground along the Silver Line corridor,” Gary Thomas, DART president and executive director, said. “The project was actually on our map in 1983, so for 36 years now, we’ve talked about this opportunity and this project.
“In Richardson, somebody asked when the project was actually going to start, and I said, ‘2022,’ and true to our fashion, I said Dec. 31 at midnight. As the program went on in Richardson, I think we got talked about a breakfast opening on Dec. 31, not midnight, so you might have to accelerate your time frame just a little bit.”
Archer Western Herzog (AWH), which is a joint venture between Archer Western Construction and Herzog Contracting Corporation, has built or operated every commuter rail system in Texas.
“We’ve completed seven projects for DART over the last 20 years, and one of my first jobs was on the Red Line in Richardson,” Joe Lee, AWH senior vice president, said. “We also built the blue signature bridge [Arapaho Road Bridge] in Addison. And of course, we’ve done many jobs here at the airport and for TEXRail.
“Our goal is to be a good neighbor while we are building this project and to design and build a high-quality, safe project we can all be proud of for years to come.”
The new $1.1 billion rail line will create approximately 210,000 new jobs within a half-mile of the corridor. There will be 10 regional rail stations built strategically around the corridor and the Silver Line will connect to four rail lines: Orange, Green, Red and TEXRail. A one-way trip from DFW Airport to Shiloh Road in Plano will take about 58 minutes.
“This is such an exciting time for our service area,” Sue Bauman, DART Board chairperson, said. “We all know we’re growing and with all of our member cities and the area cities, this project is a real partnership.”
Some cities along the corridor are not official DART cities, but will be affected by the Silver Line.
“We are not a [DART] member city, but we are an area city that will be impacted by the Silver Line,” Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt said. “I want to thank each and every one of these mayors and DART for allowing us to be a part of the conversation.”
Written by Stacey Doud