The Dallas-Fort Worth region can move forward on nearly $71 billion of transportation and air quality projects now that federal regulating agencies have signed-off on the regionís long-term transportation plan, Mobility 2030.

Mobility 2030 is the regionís financially-constrained blueprint for future transportation systems and services and makes specific recommendations for each mode of travel. The plan was approved by the Regional Transportation Council in January and received federal clearance earlier this month.

Mobility 2030 shows that the Dallas-Fort Worth region has $71 billion in anticipated available funding for needed system improvements, just more than half of the $129.5 billion needed. Revenue, primarily federal and state transportation dollars, has not kept pace with rising construction costs or with the increasing demand for new transportation services and has created this funding gap.

The roadway component of Mobility 2030 includes $34.5 billion of roadway recommendations, including innovative funding strategies such as toll and managed lanes.

Project costs have escalated roughly 10 percent per year, due to the rising cost of concrete and steel, a trend that will further contribute to the regionís shortfall.

The additional money to cover these rising costs translates into roughly 1,100 lane miles of roadway needs that cannot be constructed, given current funding.

The transit component of Mobility 2030 includes $11 billion of rail recommendations, including 480 miles of regional passenger rail lines. However, transit has similar funding concerns to the roadway component. If state-required funding limits on sales tax are not lifted, more than 200 miles of needed rail lines previously identified may not be funded, resulting in increased roadway congestion and a delay in meeting regional air quality standards.

Mobility 2030 also includes safety and security policies and programs, recommendations for expanding regional truck lane restrictions and plans incorporating a regional outer loop that could be incorporated into the state-proposed Trans-Texas Corridor.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments, serving as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, is responsible for conducting the regional transportation planning process, including the development of the regionís long-range planning vision.

For additional information on the development of Mobility 2030 and for ways to be involved in regional transportation planning, visit online at www.nctcog.org/trans/mtp/2030For more information on the North Central Texas Council of Governments, visit online at www.nctcog.org.