Rapid Expansion

by Jeff L. Brown, Contributing Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 10, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is undertaking an ambitious light-rail expansion program. It already operates a 20 mi (32 km) light-rail starter system in the city of Dallas. Under construction are an 11 mi (18 km) northeast corridor, scheduled to reach Garland in 2002, and a 13 mi (21 km) north central corridor, scheduled to reach Richardson in 2002 and Plano in 2003. Preliminary engineering is under way for a 10 mi (16 km) corridor to the southeast and a 32 mi (51 km) corridor to the northwest, which would connect the system to the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. DART's 13 member cities, excited by the economic growth adjacent to the starter system, are taking a proactive approach toward new joint development. The alignment under construction includes numerous grade separations, including four new elevated stations. While most of the elevated structures are being constructed with concrete, three longer-span bridges called for a steel design. In addition, DART had to preserve three historic steel bridges on the existing railroad right-of-way. In an August ballot initiative, area voters approved long-term financing for DART, allowing it to accelerate the expansion on an aggressive schedule.

Subject Headings: Steel bridges | Concrete bridges | Urban areas | Steel structures | Scheduling | Railroad bridges | Light rail transit

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