There's a new direction from Dallas Area Rapid Transit on the D2 Subway, a second light rail line that will run through downtown Dallas.
Approved by the Dallas City Council and DART board of directors, the new route for the downtown subway project avoids crossing under I-345 and instead veers north, avoiding Deep Ellum entirely.
DART has a map of the new route posted on its website.
The revised route tunnels under public right-of-way, then connects to a tunnel that runs along Central Expressway south of Ross Avenue.
This plan has two key changes: It keeps the Deep Ellum station on Good Latimer Freeway exactly where it is. The previous plan would have replaced it with a Live Oak station one block away; the Live Oak station is no longer happening.
It also dodges the controversial redesign of I-345, the elevated highway on the east side of downtown.
In a February Dallas City Council meeting, council member Paul Ridley called the new route "a huge improvement over the previous locally-preferred alternative."
"It avoids difficult engineering conflicts with [I-345] and also very expensive Y- Junction in East Dallas all which was problematic to begin," Ridley said.
Among the biggest winners of the new route: the new wave of bars and restaurants that have cropped up on Good Latimer such as Bottled Blonde, Citizen, The Sporting Club, and Blum. Some were in the way and were likely to have been razed.
The decision also will result in a big switcheroo for Blue and Green line trains:
- Green and Orange lines will use the subway tunnel
- Blue and Red lines will continue using the street-level transit mall
The Green Line will run from the Buckner stop in southeast Dallas to the UNT Dallas stop in south Dallas (it currently goes to Carrollton).
The Blue Line will run from Rowlett to Carrollton (it currently runs from Rowlett to the UNT Dallas stop in south Dallas).
So the Blue Line will now be a U above downtown, and the Green Line will now be an upside-down U below downtown.
Transfers between all lines could occur on either the west (Metro Center & West End stations) or east (Pearl/Arts District & CBD East stations) side of downtown.
D2 is being proposed because it will allow DART to add more train capacity through downtown, which will increase how frequently the trains come, and also provide backup when there are outages on the current aboveground line.
The D2 Subway will include four stations: Museum Way, Metro Center, Commerce St. and CBD East. The tunnel will run from Victory Park to the existing tunnel near Ross Avenue.