Feel the rumble of the train? Not so much with the Cotton Belt!

In this week’s Behind the Tracks, we’re breaking down how DART mitigates any potential impacts from new transit projects.  In our last post, we told you about our process of implementing mitigation measures to avoid, reduce or eliminate impacts like noise. Today, we are taking a deeper dive into how we mitigate vibration.

What vibration?

Have you ever stopped on the side of freeway and had a large-semi truck pass you by? Do freight trains passing by rattle your dishes?  You don’t just hear it, you feel it too. DART wants to make sure that the Cotton Belt doesn’t feel like a freeway or those old freight trains!

How does DART assess vibration?

DART takes the following steps to assess potential levels of vibration after the Cotton Belt is built.

Step 1: Obtain data on ground-borne vibration propagation characteristics through the soil along the corridor
Step 2: Crate an estimate of future vibration levels once the project is in operation
Step 3: Propose mitigation measures or solutions to lessen vibration where potential impacts are identified

Taking steps to minimize vibration

Luckily, thanks to new technology and advances in engineering, DART can take certain steps to make sure the Cotton Belt is a good neighbor. Some mitigation measures we are proposing to address the few potential vibration impacts identified along the corridor include:

  • Complying with stringent transit vehicle and equipment specifications
  • Building all new track with specifications to reduce vibration
  • Adding rubber mats below the tracks to reduce or eliminate vibration levels where impacts are anticipated
  • Carrying out routine maintenance of the vehicle and track

DART proposes to take an innovative approach for the rubber mats and use Tire Derived Aggregate (TDA). This high-performing material is lightweight, drains water easily and most importantly dampens vibration. DART plans on using this material, along with the other mitigation measures outlined above, when moving forward with engineering plans and design plans for the Cotton Belt Corridor.

Designing transit solutions with North Texans’ interests in mind

DART wants to take North Texans behind the tracks when it comes to the project development process for the Cotton Belt.  Addressing issues, such as vibration, early in the design phase makes sure that we can successfully integrate the project into the community.

About DART Daily

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) gets you around 13 cities with rail, bus, paratransit, and rideshare services. We serve DFW International Airport and Fort Worth via the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). The service area consists of 13 cities: Addison, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Irving, Plano, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park.
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