DFW transportation air quality plan gains federal approval

The U.S. Department of Transportation ruled that the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s recently-adopted Metropolitan Transportation Plan complies with federal air quality regulations, allowing current and future transportation projects to proceed.

State Highway 199, LBJ East, I-20/I-820/U.S. Highway 287 (the Southeast Connector) and transit on the Cotton Belt rail corridor are a few examples of projects where development and implementation may continue, providing needed congestion relief and associated air quality benefits in the rapidly growing region. The Highway 380 corridor will also be studied to determine the best way to accommodate east-west travel in fast-growing Collin and Denton counties.

Mobility 2045: The Metropolitan Transportation Plan for North Central Texas contains $136.4 billion in transportation improvements to be made over the next 20-plus years. The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) approved the plan in June 2018. The plan allocates $17.5 billion more expenditures than Mobility 2040, which the new plan replaces.

Planned improvements:

  • Freeways, tollways, arterials and HOV/managed lanes: $53.6 billion.
  • Infrastructure maintenance: $36.8 billion.
  • Rail and bus: $33.3 billion.
  • Management and operations: $9.5 billion.
  • Growth, development and land-use strategies: $3.2 billion.

The 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) 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. The program identifies roadway and transit projects programed for construction in the next four years.

As the metropolitan planning organization for the 12-county 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 as 10 area counties — Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise — are in nonattainment for ozone pollution.

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