Citizens hear update on progress of $1.2 billion Silver Line project

Vice President of Capital Construction John Rhone spoke about the Silver Line project at the Feb. 6 meeting. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact)
Vice President of Capital Construction John Rhone spoke about the Silver Line project at the Feb. 6 meeting. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact)

Vice President of Capital Construction John Rhone spoke about the Silver Line project at the Feb. 6 meeting. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact)

Representatives from Dallas Area Rapid Transit visited Richardson on Feb. 6 to provide a status update on the $1.2 billion Silver Line project.

The 26-mile passenger rail will span from Shiloh Road in Plano to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Construction of the line, which will run through seven cities, is expected to be complete by December 2022. In Richardson, the Silver Line will stop at a new station at UT Dallas and at the existing CityLine/Bush station.

In the first quarter of this year, crews are working to relocate wet and dry utilities and construct retainer walls, DART Public Relations and Communication Officer Marvin Jackson said.

It is industry practice to begin work on a project this size while design is still underway, according to DART spokesperson Gordon Shattles. The final design for the Silver Line is expected to be delivered during the third quarter of 2021.

Vice President of Capital Construction John Rhone spoke about the new self-propelled diesel multiple-unit vehicles that would be used on the Silver Line. The vehicles will be more environmentally and community friendly, he said.

“We considered different types of diesel vehicles; we considered electric vehicles similar to light rail, and this is the vehicle that we chose,” Rhone said.

The trains will have 230 seats as well as room for 250 standing passengers. They will also have automatic passenger counters and closed-circuit television systems, Rhone said.

DART police will be present on every train and strategically stationed at different stations along the line, Rhone said.

The transit agency is attempting to mitigate sound emitted by trains through the use of heating, ventilation and air conditioning closures, which Rhode said is one of the noisier components of existing DART vehicles. New wheel skirts should also reduce noise, he added.

Residential neighborhoods will be designated as quiet zones, or areas where trains will not activate their horns. However, Rhone said horns will be required during the testing phase.

A 26-mile hike-and-bike trail along the rail is at 10% design completion, Rhone said. DART is still in negotiations with Archer Western Herzog, the company contracted to design and build the trail, Rhone said. The project is funded through an interlocal agreement with the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

“I really can't get into a lot of details outside of that because we are in negotiations as far as pricing, but know that we are working very hard to deliver this trail,” Rhone said.

For dates of upcoming Silver Line community meetings, visit this link.
By Makenzie Plusnick
Makenzie graduated from Tarleton State University in 2019 with a degree in communications. While in school, she interned at the Weatherford Democrat and was editor of Texan News Service, a news outlet at Tarleton. She enjoys true crime podcasts, riding horses, and spending time with her dog.


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