The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) as the local project sponsor, has prepared the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Dallas CBD Second Light Rail Alignment (D2 Subway). You can view the SDEIS HERE. The SDEIS includes several appendices, such as the 20% Preliminary Engineering design plans.
Copies of the SDEIS are also available for public viewing at the Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young St, Dallas, TX 75201. Library hours may be affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Please contact DART Community Engagement at 214-749-2543 to make arrangements for viewing hard copy if needed.
The 45-day public comment period for the SDEIS was from May 15, 2020 through June 29, 2020. Comments received during the 45-day review period are being classified and recorded into appropriate subject areas. All comments will be reviewed and documented. However, only substantive comments will receive responses and be documented in the Final EIS/Record of Decision.
While the official SDEIS comment period has closed, you are still welcome to submit comments to [email protected]; however, they will not be documented in the Final EIS/Record of Decision.
Public Hearing Audio and Transcripts
In order to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and employees, DART conducted virtual call-in public hearings on Thursday, June 11 at 12:00-1:00 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. The purpose of the hearings was to collect verbal public comments on the D2 Subway SDEIS.
DART also conducted an in-person Public Hearing following COVID-19 safety protocols and practices on June 25, 2020, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at DART Headquarters. The written transcript is included below:
— June 25, 2020 Public Hearing Transcript (PDF file opens in a new window)
Like other agencies, DART is reviewing the potential implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations and project schedules. The DART Board is currently discussing the FY21 20-Year Financial Plan, which is scheduled for approval in September 2020. Several different scenarios are being discussed relative to capital projects like D2 Subway. While we don't yet know the extent of the financial impact, there could be a potential delay to the D2 Subway schedule. DART is still working closely with the FTA to continue to advance the project and seek federal funds - whether it's the Capital Investment Grant program or other stimulus programs that could be announced in the future. Our current direction is to work towards completing this phase of D2 Subway to 30% design and a Final EIS/Record of Decision. This will ensure the project is ready to move forward at the appropriate time.
The D2 Subway project is a future second light rail line through downtown Dallas that extends from Victory Park to Deep Ellum. DART began planning for D2 in 2007. Since then, several studies and planning efforts have been completed (see below for PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND). The most recent efforts resulted in both the Dallas City Council and the DART Board of Directors approving the D2 Subway Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) in September 2017. The D2 Subway alignment is shown below. The alignment has been refined since 2017 due to more detailed engineering and environmental information, as well as public input. DART is currently in Project Development (PD) and has completed 20% Preliminary Engineering (PE) and a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS).
D2 Subway Locally Preferred Alternative - Commerce via Victory/Swiss
The Project alignment begins south of Victory Station. It moves south through a switch off the existing railroad alignment and then proceeds in a southeasterly direction along DART-owned right-of-way within Victory Park within the median of Museum Way and through the parking lot on the west side of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Adjacent to the Perot Museum will be an at-grade light rail station (Museum Way Station). After leaving the station southbound, the alignment crosses under Woodall Rodgers Freeway at street level, and then begins its transition underground. The alignment enters a property currently occupied by a parking lot and descends into a tunnel within the portal. The alignment remains underground through the core of Downtown until it reaches IH 345 on the east end of Downtown. After passing under Hord Street near the Dallas World Aquarium, the alignment turns under Griffin Street. Between San Jacinto Avenue and Elm Street would be an underground station (Metro Center Station). This station would provide the ability to transfer to the West Transfer Center, Rosa Parks Plaza, and the West End and Akard light rail stations.
After crossing under Main Street, the alignment turns east under Belo Garden and continues under Commerce Street. While under Commerce, another underground station is planned approximately between Akard and Ervay Streets (Commerce Station). After passing under Harwood Street, the alignment turns northeast and diagonally across surface parking lots and between buildings. There would another underground station (CBD East Station) between Main Street and Pacific Avenue. This station would provide opportunities to transfer to buses at the East Transfer Center.
After passing under Cesar Chavez Boulevard the alignment would begin the transition back to the surface. This transition or portal would be under IH 345 and south of and parallel to Swiss Avenue. The portal and transition ends just west of Hawkins Street. Immediately east of where it resurfaces, the alignment arrives at a switch that allows trains to travel either north or south along rebuilt Good Latimer tracks.
The Project introduces four new stations and one relocated station including: one surface station (Museum Way), three underground stations (Metro Center, Commerce, and CBD East) and the relocated Deep Ellum Station from just north of Gaston Avenue to just south of Live Oak Street (now referred to as Live Oak Station). The underground stations would be accessed by stairs, elevators and/or escalators, depending on space availability. The access points would be provided in new buildings, open spaces downtown, within the sidewalks or incorporated into existing buildings. The underground station infrastructure will also include emergency egress and ventilation shafts.
The existing downtown light rail line is the at-grade Bryan/Pacific Transitway mall. The D2 Subway will help to ensure the sustainability of the DART system by providing needed capacity and improving system reliability and passenger service through downtown Dallas. Reliance upon one single LRT transit route through downtown constrains the ability of both DART and the region to implement additional radial light rail line projects or increase service levels on all existing radial light rail lines. Dependence on one single downtown mall also increases the risk for system wide service disruption due to incidents on the mall, such as traffic accidents and closure of the mall due to fire in adjacent buildings. Learn more about the importance of D2 HERE.
Once in place, DART proposes to reroute the Green and Orange Lines to the D2 Subway. The Red and Blue Lines would remain on the existing Transit Mall. Rerouting the Orange and Green lines will free up capacity on both downtown lines so that DART can insert additional train service to meet increasing ridership demands.
FTA PROJECT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
DART is following the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) process. The first phase is a two-year process called Project Development (PD) to complete Preliminary Engineering (PE) to support an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). FTA approved the original PD schedule based on the approval of the September 2015 LPA (see PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND), and anticipated that PD would be complete by November 2017. With the change in direction in Fall 2016 to pursue a subway option, and approval of the new D2 Subway LPA in September 2017, DART requested that PD be extended by two years to November 2019. In March 2018, FTA denied the extension. Thus, DART is continuing the PD process locally with FTA oversight. DART will resubmit the project to enter the FTA Engineering phase after this PD step is complete.
D2 Subway Project Development phase was estimated to take approximately 24-months through late 2020. The completion of the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to assess the benefits, impacts and costs of the project is a major milestone. This SDEIS builds upon and updates the 2010 DEIS (see PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND). Based on the SDEIS and public input a Final EIS (FEIS) will be prepared. The Final EIS will outline mitigation commitments to address identified impacts. The FTA may issue a single document that consists of the FEIS and a Record of Decision (ROD), which closes the environmental process. A mitigation monitoring program is part of the FEIS/ROD and will be put in place as the project proceeds into Engineering and Construction.
FTA Project Development Process
D2 SUBWAY PROJECT DEVELOPMENT MEETINGS
Several meetings have been held during the Project Development Phase of the D2 Subway Project., Below is a list of key meetings, where each meeting notation contains a link to a PDF file that contains meeting-specific information. The information varies by type of meeting. Please subscribe here to stay informed.
DART is in the process of evaluating project delivery methods. If your firm is interested in future design and construction opportunities for the D2 Subway project, please contact Cathy Hamilton in DART Procurement at [email protected] for more information.
D2 is proposed as part of a program of interrelated projects aimed to improve capacity of the system and access and circulation in the downtown core. In addition to the D2 Subway, DART is advancing the Red and Blue Line Platform Extensions project, which entails modifications at 28 stations on the Red and Blue Lines to accommodate longer trains. This project is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2022.
DART is also supporting the City of Dallas in planning for the Dallas Streetcar Central Link to connect the Union Station/Convention Center area to the McKinney Avenue Trolley (M-Line) in uptown near Klyde Warren Park. The Dallas City Council approved the Elm/Commerce alignment as the LPA for the Central Link on September 13, 2017 concurrent with their approval of the D2 Subway. DART is coordinating with the City of Dallas on next steps, including Project Development under the FTA Small Starts program. The project schedule is pending additional streetcar system planning and a decision by the City to potentially advance the Convention Center Loop project early.
PROJECT HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
DART began planning for D2 in 2007. Since then, several studies and planning efforts have been completed (see below) which led to approval of a mostly at-grade Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) in September 2015. DART initiated Project Development (PD) for that LPA in November 2015, which included early preliminary engineering (PE) and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). During summer 2016, there were community concerns with the alignment and requests from the City of Dallas and key stakeholders to pursue a subway option. As a result, on October 25, 2016, the Board of Directors approved the FY17 Financial Plan, which doubled the project budget to $1.3 billion for development of a D2 Subway. Based on this action, DART initiated a LPA Refinement Phase in December 2016. This refinement phase entailed significant coordination with technical staff and downtown stakeholders, and resulted in both the Dallas City Council and the DART Board of Directors approving the D2 Subway LPA in September 2017.
To learn more about project history click on the links below: