Congress Authorizes Nearly $26.6M in Funding for 15 North Texas Projects

The total includes funding for the Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, The University of Texas at Dallas, the city of Dallas, and more.

Fifteen North Texas projects have secured at a total of $26,597,414 in funding as part of the bipartisan federal Omnibus spending package, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (Texas District 32) of Plano announced.

The total for 2023 includes funding for the Children’s Hospital system, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, The University of Texas at Dallas, the city of Dallas and more, he said. He noted other members of the North Texas Congressional delegation included U.S. Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson (District 30) and Marc Veasey (District 33) also were key to getting the funding passed.

“From transportation to clean energy to health care to education and job training—I am proud that we secured these vital projects for North Texas,” Allred said in a statement. “I thank our committee of North Texans who worked with me to help select these projects and ensure our government funding process puts the needs of North Texas first. I look forward to seeing these projects get off the ground to help strengthen our community, create jobs and grow our economy.”

Earlier this year, Allred said he secured support for these projects in the House version of the appropriations bill.

The funding recommendations resulted from the work of a nonpartisan committee of North Texans formed to review projects based on a set of criteria including addressing local needs, job creation, economic development, community support, and oversight, Allred said.

Projects were chosen for the fiscal year 2022 using a similar committee process, which secured $16.2 million. Community Project Funding allows members of Congress to support federal investment in community-based projects in the appropriations process.

The projects chosen are:

Big Thought

Rebound, Closing the Opportunity Gap by Attacking Learning Loss and Strengthening Emotional and Social Resilience: $1 million to close the opportunity gap and increase upward mobility through digital credentialing of out-of-school learning experiences. Big Thought offers programs that serve over 100,000 youth annually.

Children’s Health Clinical Operations

Behavioral Health Safe Cars: $500,000 to reduce delays in transferring pediatric psychiatric patients. Safe Cars will help relieve emergency department boarding and help children receive timely access to mental and behavioral care. This project will install safety equipment in the vehicles and hire a skilled team to staff the cars.

Emergency Department Renovation and Expansion: $1 million to modernize the Emergency Department to improve patient care and meet the needs of a growing pediatric population. Children’s is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in North Texas and is one of the few pediatric ERs in the nation.

Pediatric Mental Health Initiative: $915,000 for the new Pediatric Mental Health Initiative, in partnership with the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. The funding would train 200 physicians to serve children that have depression and anxiety and who are not being treated for their mental health needs.

City of Dallas – Dallas Digital Divide

Traffic Signals and Streetlights: $750,000 to invest in infrastructure improvements to traffic signals and streetlights. The funding would help extend Dallas’s communication network from City facilities to the traffic signals and streetlights, with a focus on Priority Improvement Zones to help bridge the digital divide and to improve safety.

Dallas College

Teaching Residency Apprenticeship Program: $500,000 to help cut the teaching shortage in North Texas in half by establishing a teaching residency apprenticeship program. The funding would help strengthen and diversify educator workforces.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System Upgrade Project (SCADA): $2.82 million to improve the SCADA System, which controls and manages its light rail network. This system will enable Rail Operations to make smarter decisions and communicate system issues to passengers in real time, and improve system reliability and safety.

Intermodal Transit Hub at UTD Station for DART Silver Line: $2.5 million to establish a transit hub including on-demand transit, electric-vehicle charging, and other transit amenities. It will provide riders with sustainable, accessible options for solving the “last mile challenge” of navigating from the station to their destination.

Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation

Southern Gateway Park: $7.75 million to help build a 5.1-acre deck park over I-35E in Southern Dallas, reuniting a neighborhood divided by I-35E. According to the UNT-Dallas School of Business, investments from this park will create $1 billion of economic impact in its first 5 years.

Texas A&M University-Commerce

PridePathway Pilot Program: $516,614 to help Texans access teacher certification by investing in paraprofessionals, teacher’s aides and substitute teachers in districts facing teacher shortages. The program will provide support to students navigating a bachelor’s degree and alternative teacher certification, remove financial barriers and provide a curriculum designed for working professionals and adults.

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD)

Center for Wind Energy: $1.6 million to create the Center for Wind Energy, which will bring together university, civic, and industry partners to create and test technologies to realize the potential of wind energy.

North Texas Semiconductor Workforce Development Consortium: $3 million to address workforce needs in semiconductor-related industries in Texas. It will provide infrastructure and curriculum support to community college partners to improve the workforce pipeline for the industry.

Psychological Services and Education Center: $1.5 million to create a Psychological Services and Education Center, incorporating in-person, telehealth care, and educational programs in behavioral health to bring mental health services to North Texas and enhance the mental health workforce.

STartup REsearch To Capstone Honors (STRETCH) project for Small Business: $745,000 to support small businesses through mentoring, co-working facilities, and student capstone project support. This effort leverages educational and innovation programs at UTD, and collaborations with the Innovation Quarter in Richardson.

UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW)

Dallas State Psychiatric Hospital: $1.5 million for brain scanning equipment to ensure North Texans have access to cutting-edge treatments that will improve knowledge of care and outcomes. Texas Health and Human Services Commission and UTSW are partnering to build the first State psychiatric hospital in DFW.

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