the offical newsletter of DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT - Fall 2010
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Now Arriving: CHANGE
A letter from the DART Chairman of the Board.

The Great Green Line
Phase II of the Green Line delivers easier, less stressful commutes and heralds renewed economic growth from Carrollton and Farmers Branch to Pleasant Grove.

Everybody's Going Green
Community leaders laud the arrival of DART Rail and tout the connectivity and revitalization it brings.

The Green Gallery
DART's Station Art and Design Program makes each rail stop a public masterpiece.

Exploring the Green Scene
The Green Line goes where you go - to hospitals, arts institutions, music and sporting venues, shopping, dining and recreation.

Head for the Highlands
The new Lake Highlands Station connects to a live-shop-play development now under construction.

Orange & Blue Lines Expand
Construction of the Blue Line to Rowlett and the Orange Line to Irving proceeds on schedule for completion in 2012.

Short Trips
DART Dude lives car-free; Thomas elected industry group vice chair; Rail facility among the best; DART makes U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club; Plano seniors program gets a lifeline; Denton County's A-train takes off this summer.

DART Board of Directors

DART Current and Future Services Map

DART: Live, On Tape and Online

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Head for the Highlands

New Lake Highlands Station spans the
community's heritage and future

Lake Highlands Town Center introduces upscale retail and residential development with transit accessibility.
Lake Highlands Town Center introduces upscale retail and residential development with transit accessibility.

What was an imaginary point on DART's planning map becomes a reality with the new Lake Highlands Station opening December 6 on the Blue Line, at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill Lane and White Rock Trail.

Initially approved in 1995 as part of the expansion toward Garland, the station was deferred until new development warranted its construction. So in 2006, in expectation of an expansive mixed-use town center complex, the DART Board gave its blessing to move ahead with the project.

Taking a New Approach
The $10 million Lake Highlands Station is DART's first infill station built on an active rail line, providing unique challenges and opportunities to rethink construction methods.

Faced with the charge of not disrupting service along the Blue Line, construction crews utilized the evening hours when trains pass by less frequently, occasionally even closing rail service down to a single track.

Crews installed the stationís signature canopies during off-peak times.
Crews installed the stationís signature canopies during off-peak times.
Rather than being poured onsite, the station platforms were created entirely out of pre-cast concrete panels that were installed as modular pieces. Likewise, the column cladding was constructed from glass fiber reinforced concrete offsite and installed during off-peak hours.

"The approach we took to building the Lake Highlands Station on an existing rail line can definitely be transferred to any other deferred stations we may build," says DART Project Manager Reza Shirmanesh.

Center of Attention
Adjacent to station will be the Lake Highlands Town Center, an ambitious, 70-acre, mixed-use, transit-oriented development currently under construction. As planned, the center will allow residents to do most, if not all, of their shopping in the neighborhood.

"This project breathes new life into the Lake Highlands community, taking transit-oriented development to a new level, offering what will be the convenience of transportation, shopping, public parks and a broad range of housing options in one premier destination," says District 10 Dallas City Councilmember Jerry Allen, who was instrumental in securing funding for the station during his tenure as a DART board member.

According to Stephanie Colovas, senior managing director at Prescott Realty, infrastructure work throughout the 70-acre site will be complete by year's end, including site grading, utilities, retaining walls, street/sidewalk construction, lighting and landscaping. Prescott will also finish a new bridge north of Walnut Hill and a 20-acre park with a lake, amphitheatre, water features and a hike and bike trail connecting to Lake Highlands Station. The hike and bike trail will eventually connect south to White Rock Trail.

"Phase I of vertical construction is anticipated to start by the end of First Quarter 2011 and will include 200 luxury multi-family units and approximately 100,000 square feet of retail," says Colovas.

Nature Takes its Course
The design of the Lake Highlands Station reflects the natural charm of the area, which straddles the banks of White Rock Creek. The intent, according to station artist Jennifer Sereno, is to segue from the ultra-modern environs of Lake Highlands Town Center to the wellestablished, tree-lined neighborhoods to the east.

Accordingly, there is a heavy emphasis on landscaping, including colorful seasonal perennials and plenty of local stone. The modular aspect of the station construction shaped the art and design, as well.

Leaf, fossil and paw imprints were set into the pre-cast concrete platforms.
Leaf, fossil and paw imprints were set into the pre-cast concrete platforms.
"Instead of pavers, the concrete of the station platform is imprinted with oak leaves, fossils and plant life native to the area," says Sereno, who worked closely with the surrounding community to customize the station. "The columns are encircled in a recessed vine pattern, also imprinted directly into concrete."

In a nod to the Lake Highlands High School mascot, a series of "wildcat" paw prints appear in the concrete platform.

Sidewalks, trails and streets in the Lake Highlands Town Center are planned to provide linkages to and from the station. Among those, a long walkway twists and turns from the development up to the platform, making a subtle reference to the meandering creek nearby.

Station construction took place without disrupting Blue Line service.
Station construction took place without disrupting Blue Line service.

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