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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The final hurdle for the TEX Rail project connecting downtown Fort Worth to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport has cleared.

Ground has already been broken on the new 26.8-mile TEX Rail line. Fort Worth Transportation Authority CEO Paul Ballard explained, “We’ve already actually started construction on the railroad and it will be in service in 24 months. But this is the final piece of the funding.”

Officials with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) signed a $499 million grant agreement during a ceremony in Fort Worth today.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said the new TEX Rail line will fulfill an absolute necessity. “You simply cannot pour enough concrete to accommodate the growth here.”

Along with Fort Worth, the line will include stops in Grapevine and North Richland Hills.

Grapevine Mayor William Tate said the completed project is something citizens in his city have wanted for a long time. “They not only embraced the idea, but voted overwhelming to increase the sales tax to make it possible.”

Ballard said the new line will help reduce congestion on the roadways — now and in the future. “As time goes by and more and more people move here congestion is getting worse and worse.”

The federal funds committed today will be provided over the course of four years.

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