City of Carrollton

March 24, 2005

"Marchant Teams with City of Carrollton to Discuss Transportation Funding"

Carrollton, Texas - Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) and the City of Carrollton hosted a joint event today in downtown Carrollton at the Gazebo on the Square to discuss the $10 million in transportation funding Marchant secured for Carrollton upon the United States House passage of the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (H.R. 3). Featured speakers included Congressman Marchant, Carrollton Mayor Mark Stokes, Michael Morris, Transportation Director for North Central Texas Council of Governments, and Randall Chrisman, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) board member. They specifically addressed plans for a DART regional passenger rail system, to be built at Belt Line and IH 35.

"The DART station will ultimately serve as a significant transportation focal point for the entire Dallas/Fort Worth region," said Marchant. "I am pleased for the City of Carrollton, as the construction of the station will provide a great opportunity for development and long-term economic sustainability for the area."

H.R. 3 designates $2 million in federal funding for the preliminary design of the DART station. The bill also allocates $6 million for the depression of Belt Line Road below grade at IH35. Both projects are essential to maximize the potential of the regional passenger rail station in downtown Carrollton.

Morris thanked Marchant for his efforts in securing federal funding for the venture, and expanded on the regional impact of the new DART station. "Clearly a home run has been hit! We're taking this DART station and creating a larger vision for the entire region," he said.

Chrisman described plans for the station, which will serve as the fourth transportation hub in the Metroplex region. While affirming that securing these funds gets DART one step closure to their regional transportation goals, he added "this is quite an accomplishment for Representative Marchant, for us and for this area."

Congressman Marchant is the only Republican member from North Texas to serve on the House Transportation Committee. He represents Texas Congressional District 24, which encompasses portions of Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties. Prior to his 2004 election to the U.S. House of Representatives, he served nine terms in the Texas Legislature. Marchant began his career in public service in 1980 as a member of the Carrollton City Council, and proceeded to serve as Mayor of Carrollton for three years.

Belt Line Road Grade Separation
This project will depress Belt Line Road under the railroad tracks near Old Downtown Carrollton, east of IH-35E. Belt Line Road carries over 48,000 vehicles per day, and about 13 trains cross Belt Line daily. Separating these modes of travel and eliminating six railroad crossings will improve local air quality by reducing emissions from idling vehicles, reducing traffic congestion, improving traffic flow through the area, and improving access to the rail station. This project will improve pedestrian linkages between the Downtown Carrollton DART Light Rail Transit Station and future residential development north of Belt Line Road and the Old Downtown retail area.

Old Downtown LRT Station Plan
The Downtown Carrollton Station will be located at the intersection of three railroad tracks that will eventually serve regional rail passenger transit. Given the station's proximity to IH-35E, Belt Line Road, local and regional bus service, and multiple passenger rail servers, this station will be a four-platform transit center that will serve as a regional hub. This area is projected to be the 4th major transportation hub of the DFW Metroplex. The project objective is to develop a plan for a transit center that will accommodate this projected level of transportation activity.

Carrollton will take a leadership role in planning for the ultimate station design with the intent of linking housing, jobs and transit to improve air quality and mobility. Planning considerations will include the architectural theme of the facility; consideration of an enclosed, climate-controlled facility; effective management of the dynamics of freight rail operations adjacent to passenger rail operations; and creation of a station layout that promotes transit oriented development in the adjacent area.

FM 544 Widening
This project will widen FM 544 from a two-lane road to a six-lane divided thoroughfare from FM 2281 to Dozier Road. It will ultimately provide a regional roadway connection between the Dallas North Tollway and SH-121. This project has been actively supported by the cities of Carrollton and Lewisville, TxDOT and Denton County.

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