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Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Coppell Experiences Transportation Growth

Photo by Camila Gonzalez

Coppell—The Coppell Chamber of Commerce hosted the Coppell State of Transportation meeting in the Coppell Arts Center on Thursday, March 10.The meeting provided updates on the railways, roads and airport in and near the city.

“Transportation is very important to the future of Coppell,” Mayor Wes Mays said. “It’s very hard to focus on a single element, because as technology changes, so do the opportunities for the changes in transportation.”

One change coming to the city is the construction of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Silver Line light rail. The Silver Line will span 26 miles and 7 cities, including Carrollton, Addison and Richardson. The light rail will be DART’s first public transportation project in Coppell.

“[We are] working directly with city officials,and the residents of each one of those cities,” Gordon Shattles, director of external relations for DART, said. “A big part of it is deciding where the station will be, sound walls and sound mitigation measures we can take to ensure the rail does not affect people living in the area”

DART will implement “quiet zones” at intersections, which means as the light rail passes through an intersection, the conductor will not sound the horn unless there is an emergency.

“Anywhere we can have a quiet zone, we will do it,” Shattles said. “A request for a quiet zone has to be made by the city, but we’ll work directly with the city to make sure they fill out all the appropriate forms [and] send them to the right governmental agencies. [We are] always happy to work with them.”

Shattles said most light rails are connected to overhead power lines, but the Silver Line will not require overhead lines, because it will have diesel electric engines. The service is expected to start at the end of 2024.

Coppell is also seeing reconstruction on its roads. Mays said the section of Belt Line Road between Southwestern and I-635 is currently undergoing improvements. He advised citizens to become familiar with different routes while this project continues.

“We knew this would have major impacts on all the drivers, and we’ve taken every means we could to alert, advise and cajole drivers to take alternate routes,” Mays said. “If it’s not clear enough, please do not drive on Belt Line.”

He said this area is one in a series of road sections that will undergo construction. They are currently also working on Bethel School Road. The next intersection will be the eastbound 121 service way and Denton Tap. He said improvements to Parkway, Sandy Lake and Southwestern have already been completed.

“If you drive anywhere near Parkway and Denton Tap during a school morning, you probably already noticed an improvement,” Mays said.

Mays said the city of Coppell partnered with the Texas Transportation Institute to keep citizens updated on traffic and construction via electronic updates and a specialized Twitter feed.

The meeting also addressed improvements and changes in air travel. Naveen Bandla, the vice president of aviation strategy and enterprise analytics for the DFW International Airport, spoke about the new DFW Fast Pass.

“I think all of you can probably relate to this, especially if you have small kids like I do,” Bandla said. “Flying is great, but the most stressful part is always going through security.”

With a DFW Fast Pass, team members will accompany travelers who have opted into the service to the front of the security line. This service can be booked up to seven days in advance at www.dfwairport.com/security.

Although domestic travel has mostly recovered from the pandemic, international travel has seen a slower increase. Bandla said the airport has added a few new international routes. Finnair will connect DFW to Helsinki, Finland beginning this month. Iberia will connect DFW to Madrid, Spain beginning this summer. Finally, British Airways will provide daily service from DFW to the Heathrow Airport in London, England in the summer.

“When we talk about transportation and technology, it’s the roadways, the airways, and the railways that made Coppell what it is,” Mays said. “Coppell’s been here since the 1800s as a railroad station, but the town didn’t grow until the airport came in the 70s.”