Special to The Dallas Examiner
The North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Regional Transportation Council recently awarded preliminary approval to fund 44 new traffic signals – 22 in the Lancaster Corridor and Hampton Road in Southern Dallas and 22 in the tornado-affected areas of Northern Dallas.
The council will fund the signal improvements with $220,000 from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, a $2.1 million local match and $14 million from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program. The block grant will require the federal government’s final approval, which is expected by next summer.
Mayor Eric Johnson and city staff have also been seeking Federal Highway Administration reimbursement of approximately $14 million for other traffic signals that were damaged during the Oct. 20, 2019, EF-3 tornado.
“This funding will help us tremendously as we recover from the devastating tornado that ripped through our city last year,” Johnson said. “In addition, it has been clear that we must do more to invest in our aging infrastructure, especially in southern Dallas. With the Regional Transportation Council’s help, we will make much-needed progress and ensure that many of our city’s residents are able to move through Dallas in a safer and more efficient manner for years to come.”
Dallas City Council Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Adam McGough, who the mayor appointed to lead the city’s RTC delegation, represented a part of the city that was hit by the tornado.
“We have so many needs across our city as it relates to improved traffic signals, streets and lights,” McGough said. “I am thankful to the RTC and our partners for this funding to help us address some of those needs as we continue to improve our infrastructure in Dallas.”
The Lancaster Corridor was selected for RTC funding in part because it is home to the Dallas VA Medical Center and the DART Blue Line. Hampton Road is also a high-priority area with aging signals and a high volume of calls for service from Dallas Fire-Rescue.
“The Regional Transportation Council is laser-focused on providing a much-needed boost to the local economy by funding projects that can be implemented quickly,” said Michael Morris, P.E., director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “This project will replace aging traffic-signal infrastructure that was also impacted by the tornado, as well as needed improvements in the southern sector. This is also a perfect example of the types of projects the RTC is expediting to help our community recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.”