Austin, Texas: Project Connect, which includes a new rail system and a downtown transit tunnel to separate rail and vehicle traffic, was approved 58% to 42% by voters on the 3 November ballot.
The transit expansion project, which includes non-rail components, will cost an estimated 7.1 billion USD, which will come from public funds (federal and local).
On 3 November voters approved the ‘initial investment’, which comprises 27 miles of new railway line with 31 stations.
The light rail network is to be underground in the downtown area to make it safer and punctual. The proposed length of the tunnel is 1.6 miles and would be used by the orange and blue lines. The plans are for there to be underground stations of varying sizes, with the biggest one being Republic Square, which will be built over three levels. All the underground stations will be given platform screen doors.
In Year 1, the preliminary engineering for the blue and oranges lines will take place, along with the final designs and procurement for the red line expansion. Years 2 and 3 will see the final designs and procurement taking place for the orange and blue lines, while the red line expansion will be built and commissioned in year 2. The construction and commissioning for the orange and blue lines will take place in years 4–8. Lastly, the preliminary engineering for the green line will begin in year 8, with another year for the final design and procurement and years 10–13 set aside for construction and commissioning.
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