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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

March 19, 2003

Phase I Build-Out honored by American Council of Engineering Companies

DART light rail expansion wins state, national engineering awards

The Phase 1 Build-Out of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Light Rail System has won engineering awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and its Texas chapter.

The project received an Honor Award in the ACEC's 37th annual Engineering Excellence Awards. The award was presented March 18 in Washington, D.C., to DART's engineering and construction project team led by Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc., and STV, Inc., both of Dallas.

The project qualified for the national award after winning First Place in the Transportation Category of the Texas ACEC Chapter's Engineering Excellence Awards. The state award will be presented on April 7 in Austin.

The Phase 1 Build-Out - one of the largest light rail expansions in North America - is among 163 engineering projects from across the nation to be recognized by ACEC as preeminent engineering achievements for 2003. Judging was conducted by a distinguished panel of engineers and architects, along with representatives from government, media and academia. Criteria for awards include uniqueness and originality, technical, social and economic value, complexity and success of the projects in meeting goals.

Building on the success of its urban starter system that opened in 1996, DART expanded the light rail transit network along the North Central Corridor into Richardson and Plano, and along the Northeast Corridor into Garland. The $1-billion Phase 1 Build-Out program included approximately 27 miles of double light rail track, 21 concrete and steel structures, four elevated and 15 at-grade transit stations, 70,000 feet of retaining walls, 12,000 feet of sound walls and system-wide landscaping. The Garland extension was completed in November 2002 and the Plano extension opened in December 2002. More than 55,000 trips are made on the 44-mile DART Rail system each weekday.

"DART's mission is to continue building an excellent transit system that keeps our fast-growing region moving, contributes to its economic vitality, and works to improve the quality of life for everybody. And that was the mission driving everyone who worked on this massive undertaking," said DART President/Executive Director Gary Thomas. "I'm especially proud of our staff, our contractors and the design and construction team that helped carry this out. Their technical know-how, pride in workmanship and fiscal prudence have been vital to our mission."

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America's engineering industry, representing nearly 6,000 independent engineering companies throughout the United States engaged in the development of America's transportation, environmental, industrial and other infrastructure. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 51 state and regional organizations.

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