The extension, which will connect Irving, Texas, with Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW), is part of a long-term effort to create a 90-mile light-rail network by 2014 to serve the Dallas metropolitan area.
"This investment will continue expanding Dallas' Orange Line, creating jobs and delivering a major transportation project that will help the regional economy continue to grow and prosper," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
DART's $119.9-million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan will help finance the $397-million Orange Line Phase III expansion. The 35-year direct loan will be used to fund construction of a key 5.17-mile segment of DART's 14.5-mile light rail Orange Line. Once completed, the expanded line is expected to improve east-west connections between DFW and the DART system by connecting to the Green Line that runs through downtown Dallas, as well as to other transit services, including commuter rail.