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Mayor: Fort Worth Commuter Rail Project "Going Forward"

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) - Ask anyone about Interstate 35W traffic in north Fort Worth and the answers are the same.

"It's very frustrating to be driving whenever you're in a hurry to go somewhere and then it backs up all the way and there's nothing you can do about it," said Rachel Boatright who's been frustrated by the highway's traffic. "Even if you're in the biggest hurry you're just stuck there."

Construction is about to begin on expanding the interstate but the planning has not kept pace with the growth.

"I-35 must have been done 15-years ago, but it wasn't," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "What's the old saying, 'If wishes were horses then beggars would ride?' Well, we don't have that luxury so we're going forward with it now."

Tuesday Fort Worth's council decided to make a commuter rail one of the city's top priorities as a second prong in the attack on north Fort Worth's traffic congestion.

TEX Rail would run from southwest Fort Worth through TCU, Downtown Fort Worth, The Stockyards, north to Grapevine and end at DFW Airport.

"We just have to," Mayor Price said. "The 16th largest city in the nation, the growth that we're having, 10-12 thousand people a year, we need to be able to get people to Alliance, to the airport, to Grapevine, to all over."

The $760-million project will run along existing rail lines and build a dozen new stations along its route.

Fort Worth decided Tuesday to approve funding to help relocate any businesses affected along the route -- so far, the city's biggest commitment to the project.

"This sends a signal that we are definitely going forward with TEX Rail," Price said.

And TEX Rail is a project Mayor Price now says will be leaving the station sooner rather than later.

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