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Local Motion - photos of the TRE, traffic in the IH 30 managed/HOV lane, Fort Worth, airplane

   

October 2016

Work on Arlington Interchange Moving Along
CAAD16 Group Photo


Support columns have begun to rise in the shadow of Six Flags Over Texas as work continues on the highly anticipated interchange linking Interstate 30 and State Highway 360.

In 2020, motorists will be able to drive from one highway to the other without exiting and sitting through traffic signals. But first, the interchange must be completed. Currently, right-of-way acquisition is winding down, and utility relocation will be occurring along the SH 360 frontage roads, Ballpark Way, Road to Six Flags, Six Flags Drive and Avenue F, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Construction is now focusing on the new southbound frontage road for SH 360, its bridge crossing over IH 30 and structures for the direct-connect ramps on the west side of the interchange, according to TxDOT. New drainage is also included in the area.

The next step is construction between the IH 30 main lanes, where direct-connect structures will be built. The Texas Transportation Commission awarded $233 million, mostly from Proposition 1 funding, to jumpstart a project planned since the 1980s. The cloverleaf ramps are being replaced with more modern connections, which is expected to boost safety as well as mobility.

Lane closures are expected to be restricted to off-peak periods, and TxDOT is coordinating with major events in the Entertainment District to ensure access is maintained during construction.

For the latest information on detours and closures associated with the project and to sign up for email alerts, visit www.keep30360moving.org.

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By the Numbers:
110

The approximate number of expedited environmental permits resulting from a memorandum of understanding with the US Army Corps of Engineers. The MOU is helping projects get built faster.

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MEETINGS

View the Transportation Department calendar to learn about upcoming meetings and opportunities to get informed, involved.

Government managers, staff invited to energy forum

The North Central Texas Stewardship Forum will host a day-long energy forum at 9:30 am October 26 at the West Irving Library.

The forum will bring together local government, industry and regulatory leadership to discuss some of the region's most pressing energy challenges and innovative solutions.

The forum will include keynote and panel speakers covering energy legislation, energy on campus, LED lighting, innovative partnerships, energy efficiency funding opportunities and more.

Help plan for North Texas' energy future. Space is limited, so register today at www.nctcog.org/envir/registration.asp?EventID=511.

 

North Texas Xpress to link Fort Worth, Alliance, Denton

A new bus route is connecting downtown Fort Worth with the AllianceTexas area and Denton, providing an additional choice for frequent travelers of Interstate Highway 35W. The North Texas Xpress (NTX) was inaugurated September 26 and runs from the Fort Worth Intermodal Transportation Center to the Alliance Opportunity Center and the North Park & Ride before reaching the final stop by Apogee Stadium at the University of North Texas.

The route will also serve Tarrant County College's Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Logistics and Transportation at Alliance Airport.

Paul Ballard, president/CEO of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, believes the NTX will be a great addition for Fort Worth residents who work in the Alliance area.

This is the new street car used around the Bishop's Art District
"Employees drive that route every day, but now they have the choice of using that time catching up on email or just relaxing while someone else handles the driving," he said. "Students traveling to UNT or TCC for classes can get in a little extra study time by choosing public transportation."

The service, a partnership between FWTA and Denton County Transportation Authority, was officially celebrated during a kickoff event October 3, at the Fort Worth ITC. The first bus leaves the ITC at 6 am weekdays, and service concludes at 9 pm. DCTA is joining FWTA on the route to provide service every 90 minutes. Providing more regional bus service to more people is part of FWTA's objective with its Transit Master Plan, which was unveiled earlier this year.

"The North Texas Xpress falls in perfectly with our plans to serve more residents in our community and to work with partners to make it happen," Ballard said. "Branching out with this new route opens opportunities for anyone who lives in Fort Worth, the Alliance area or Denton."The launch of NTX is the latest attempt by FWTA to improve service in rapidly growing Tarrant County. In August, the authority celebrated the groundbreaking of TEX Rail, a commuter rail project that will link Fort Worth with Grapevine and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport beginning in 2018. — Submitted by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.

 

NCTCOG extends MOU with army corps of engineers

The NCTCOG Executive Board approved a $500,000 extension to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last month with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) that has helped expedite numerous transportation projects in the region.

The agreement, which now runs through 2019, has led to a more efficient environmental permitting process, which has ultimately saved officials time and money, and has helped preserved the natural environment.

The agreement provides a dedicated staff member to review regionally significant transportation projects, helping them get to construction more quickly. Under the MOU, which allows the corps employee to work directly with project teams, permits are processed in an average of two days.

Typical permitting time for the Fort Worth branch of the corps is 36 days. This difference is due in part to the fact that the dedicated staff member can be brought into a project in its early stages to receive a good understanding of that project and its needs. This allows the USACE staff member to work with contractors and project teams from the beginning of the design phase to secure the most appropriate environmental permits for the projects. Slight changes in the design of a project may result in a less-involved permit that takes days instead of months to secure, or no permit at all.

The agreement, which uses Regional Toll Revenue funding, has resulted in approximately 110 expedited permits for priority projects across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

State Highway 360, the Horseshoe Project in Dallas, the DFW Connector and TEX Rail are among the projects that have benefited from this memorandum of understanding since it was first approved in 2008.

 

Plan's Transportation-AQ balance OK'd by USDOT

The US Department of Transportation recently ruled the Dallas-Fort Worth's long-range transportation plan complies with federal air quality regulations, allowing current and future projects to proceed.

Mobility 2040: The Metropolitan Transportation Plan for North Central Texas contains $118.9 billion in transportation improvements to be made over the next 24 years. The plan, which the Regional Transportation Council approved in the spring, proposes spending roughly $24 billion more than its predecessor, Mobility 2035 – 2014 Amendment.

The 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program may also proceed, according to the Department of Transportation. The TIP is a multiyear list of projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area approved for federal, state and local funding. As the metropolitan planning organization for the 12-country Dallas-Fort Worth area, the RTC develops and implements transportation policies, projects and programs designed to improve mobility and air quality.

The region's long- and short-range transportation plans must comply with federal air quality regulations because 10 area counties are in nonattainment for ozone pollution.


Public can help update Access North Texas

NCTCOG staff members are updating Access North Texas, an ongoing effort to coordinate public, human-services and community transportation in the 16-county region.

This plan focuses on older adults, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals and transportation-disadvantaged individuals. Outreach meetings started in September in Hunt County and will continue through summer 2017. These meetings provide residents an opportunity to identify the transportation necessities in their counties and strategize how to meet the diverse transportation needs of all transit customers.

For more information, visit www.accessnorthtexas.org.


NCTCOG Participates in School-Supplies Drives

The NCTCOG Transportation Department participated in the 20th annual Dallas Mayor's Back-to-School Fair and the 11th annual Tarrant County Back-to-School Roundup in August. Staff members distributed information on bicycle and pedestrian safety and air quality initiatives to thousands of attendees at the events, which provided students and their families with school supplies and other essentials needed for the academic year. Children participated in hands-on activities and received educational items related to Look Out Texans, NCTCOG's regional safety campaign that encourages North Texans to watch out for one another while walking, bicycling and driving. Information on the campaign is available at www.LookOutTexans.org.

In addition, parents were provided with brochures about regional air quality initiatives, including the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program. AirCheckTexas helps vehicle owners comply with vehicle emissions standards by offering financial incentives to repair or replace vehicles and allows local residents to contribute to the regional air quality solution. For more information on AirCheckTexas, visit www.nctcog.org/AirCheckTexas.

School bus arriving at a school.

Read or print Local Motion as a PDF here.

Read previous newsletters here.

For more information about Local Motion topics, contact Brian Wilson at 817-704-2511 or bwilson@nctcog.org. Visit www.nctcog.org/trans for more information on the department.

Prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the opinions, findings and conclusions presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration or the Texas

11/2/2016 CH

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