Hwy. 114 expansion on project list

Comment period on Mobility 2035 update ends next month

A chance to comment on an update to Mobility 2035 —the document that guides area transportation into the future — ends June 13.

Among the 2013 amendments: one that brings a project on Hwy. 114 a step closer to reality. The work includes expanding lanes in most areas, adding continuous frontage roads and building managed toll lanes, which would increase access to Las Colinas and DFW Airport. The project would start east of Grapevine where the DFW Connector project leaves off, and extend to Loop 12 near the old Texas Stadium.

The updated plan identifies $98.7 billion in funding for projects in the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Planning Area through 2035. But, it adds, the amount needed just to alleviate the worst congestion is $395.3 billion.

Rapid growth is expected to continue. The population is about 6.4 million in the planning area, which includes Tarrant, Dallas and Denton counties.

"We're going to grow in the next 22 years to about 10 million," said Chad Edwards, program director for Mobility 2035 at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. "We're going to have to figure out how to move everyone around."

The COG, as the region's Metropolitan Planning Organization, is required to formulate the long-term transportation plan. Mobility 2035 covers rail, highways, buses, bicycle and pedestrian routes and more, including air quality and land use.

Originally approved by the Regional Transportation Council in 2011, the 2035 plan is periodically updated to reflect project and funding changes.

Combining projects

The Hwy. 114 project's chances improved after it was combined with improvements to Hwy. 183 east from Bedford to I-35E and another project on Loop 12.

The Hwy. 183 project alone only drew one proposal, Edwards said. But combining the public/private projects makes the job more appealing to investors.

Edwards said he would expect construction to begin within a year or two.

The 2013 amendments also include changes to TEX Rail, the commuter rail planned between Fort Worth and DFW Airport with two stations in Grapevine; the Cotton Belt rail line proposed from Fort Worth to Plano; and the proposed high-speed rail corridor between Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston.

The TEX Rail and Cotton Belt changes involve moving stations in Fort Worth and Plano.

The bullet train change drops the number of area stations from 12 to three — Fort Worth, DFW Airport and Dallas. High-speed rail, which would move passengers from Fort Worth to DFW Airport in 17 minutes, is being studied by a private consortium.

To comment on the 2013 update to Mobility 2035, email [email protected] or check www.nctcog.org for public meeting dates.



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