The development of North Texas’ newest regional rail line, the Cotton Belt, is moving along! DART is advancing the planning process with a revenue service arrival date scheduled by 2022. DART needs to collect a variety of data and information that will inform the significant transit extension’s engineering, design, and construction. DART desires to be a good neighbor of the North Texas region, and that’s why we’re doing the necessary research to help us create a better, and quieter regional rail for North Texas.
What is the Next Step for the Cotton Belt?
DART researches many components when building a large-scale transit project like the Cotton Belt. Areas of investigation include:
- Impacts to the existing landscape
- Noise and vibration effects
- Potential commuter or traffic impacts
DART is currently collecting this kind of information to complete an Environmental Impact Statement or EIS.
What is an EIS?
As Alexander Graham Bell said, “Preparation is the key to success,” and an EIS is DART’s strongest preparation tool. An EIS assesses the positive and negative environmental effects of building a major project like the Cotton Belt. DART’s goal is to collect as much information for this statement as possible to navigate any potential issues when constructing the Cotton Belt. DART wants to be a good neighbor to nearby residents, and make sure that if there are major findings in the EIS, DART can use this data to create alternatives or suggest solutions to avoid significant disruptions or impacts.
Collecting Information on Noise and Vibration
DART is collecting existing noise and vibration information within the corridor’s right-of-way. This information will help us model noise and vibration levels that may occur once the project is in place. DART will include this in the EIS, identify major noise or vibration implications, and propose solutions to lessen these impacts through mitigation.
Noise and vibration measurements will be taken throughout the 26-mile corridor during an 11 day period, and will be conducted primarily on DART-owned property or right-of-way. Engineers are in the process of conducting surveys in the field to gain more information about the Cotton Belt corridor. These noise and vibration measurements and tests will be conducted 24 hours a day during the weeks of March 27 and April 3.
If you see DART engineers in your community conducting tests, know that they are collecting critical information to make sure our new regional rail will be the best neighbor possible.