DALLAS (CBS11) - Big changes are heading to North Texas in the next decade with the one constant being a boom in population.
Mike Eastland, CEO of the North Central Texas Council of Governments said Dallas-Fort Worth in the next decade will be marked by new modes of transportation on existing right of ways, innovations aimed at preserving natural resources, and rapid growth.
"It's going to take a lot of creative thought and almost a futurist mind to make sure we are able to accommodate innovative things," said Eastland.
Here's our list of the Top 5 changes coming to DFW in the next ten years:
1 Population growth
By 2027, the population of DFW is expected to go from 7.3 million to just shy of 9 million, which is like adding another Dallas to the population and then some.
Places like the small Collin County town of Celina, where the population is 11,000, is expected to grow tenfold in the next ten years.
2. High speed rail to Houston
Texas Central, the private company funding this high-speed rail project, announced this month that it has acquired a third of the land needed for the project. The less than 90-minute train ride from Dallas to Houston is expected to be operating by 2023.
3. Self-driving car lanes
In the next three years an estimated 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road. North Texas regional transportation officials said because of this they are exploring the idea of having lanes just for self-driving cars – similar to an HOV lane but for self-driving cars only. Although some say in ten years the restrictions won't be on self-driving cars rather there may be more rules on where manual cars can be driven
4. New Dallas arena
The Dallas Mavericks are currently exploring the idea of building a new arena across I-35E from the American Airlines Center in the Dallas Design District. It will likely be another decade before a new arena is built unless Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban can get out of his lease with the American Airlines Center. The lease with the team runs for another 13 years.
The Mavericks recently opened a new practice facility in the Dallas Design District which sits on a 14-acre piece of property owned by Cuban.
Many predict an arena would be the catalyst for major development in the area potentially making the Design District one of the most coveted areas in North Texas for developers in the next decade.
5. Trinity Park
This has been discussed for years but here in the next decade the Trinity River and this half-mile wide of floodplain just west of downtown Dallas could finally be turned into one of the largest urban parks in the country. Helped by a $50 million donation made last fall by the Simmons family, the proposed park between the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Ron Kirk Bridge is now closer to reality.
However, the donation covers just one-fifth of the estimated $250 million needed for the project and, because it's a floodplain, any construction still has to be approve by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
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