WFRC wants public input on proposed transportation projects

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Streetcars wait at the 500 East station along the S-Line in South Salt Lake City. The WFRC contributed $2 million to build new double track on the S-Line reduce wait times by removing the need to stagger trains at 500 East. Photo by Isaac Riddle.

The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) wants to hear from the public on plans to spend more than $5 billion in transportation funding.  The proposed funding is part of the Draft 2018-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  The TIP identifies road, transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure that is needed in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Tooele, Morgan, and Box Elder counties.

“This isn’t just about a road, a bus, or a trail. It’s about a way of life,” said WFRC Chair and Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell in a statement. “By investing in our infrastructure, we are investing in our residents and in our communities. Infrastructure investment that is coordinated well with how our communities grow and develop enhances mobility, improves air quality, fosters economic development and enhances our quality of life.”

 According to WFRC staff, the Draft 2018-2023 TIP effectuated through a collaboration with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), and cities and counties across the Wasatch Front to help meet current and future transportation needs in the region.  TIP’s are updated every year and identify projects funded with federal, state, and local resources for the next six years.

Major capacity projects in the TIP are selected from Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan. Utah’s transportation agencies work together to develop the Unified Transportation Plan in which in-depth analysis and careful planning are used to identify and prioritize projects for the coming decades.

“Our region is at a tipping point,” said WFRC Executive Director Andrew Gruber said in a statement. “Our population has doubled over the last thirty years and is anticipated to nearly double in the next thirty years. Now more than ever, we must work together to coordinate our transportation investments with land use and economic development considerations so that we maximize the value of those investments and utilize our resources efficiently.”

Projects in the Draft 2018-2023 TIP include:

  • The expansion of the bike share program, GREENbike, in Salt Lake City and Ogden. Funding will create new stations, provide more bicycles, docks, and other infrastructure necessary to maintain and grow the robust bike share system in Salt Lake and will also go towards bringing the GREENbike program to Ogden, making it the first city outside of Salt Lake to be part of the GREENbike network.
  • Over half a million dollars in funding for the River Parkway Trail in West Haven City will provide the last section needed to complete a significant regional trail system. Residents from Ogden to Provo will be able to bike, walk, and run on over 100 miles of connected trail spanning the entire Wasatch Front.  This system connects the Ogden River Trail, the Denver Rio Grande Rail Trail, the Legacy Parkway Trail, the Jordan River Trail, the Murdock Canal Trail and the Provo River Trail.
  • $159 million for new freeway-style interchanges on Bangerter Highway at 6200 South, 10400 South and 12600 South. These interchanges, along with $249 million for Bangerter interchanges being constructed at 5400 South, 7000 South, 9000 South, 11400 South and 600 West.
  • $495 million is slated for construction on a section of Mountain View Corridor from 4100 S. to S.R. 201. This project provides a connection to S.R. 201 that will create a link to the rest of the county and improve north-south and east-west traffic flow.
  • A new $90 million interchange on Interstate 15 at 1800 North in Sunset near Hill Air Force Base intended to ease congestion and improve mobility.
  • $96 million in upgrades to the 24th Street interchange in Ogden to provide access to businesses and support substantial economic development occurring in the area.
  • $610 million has been identified for the first phase of the West Davis Corridor. This proposed transportation corridor would alleviate congestion and address significant growth anticipated in western Davis and Weber Counties
  • $275 million is proposed for a project along an 8-mile stretch on US-89 in eastern Davis County to improve traffic flow and safety.
  • $158 million project on I-15 to extend the express lanes another ten miles from Layton to I-84.
  • Over $2.5 million in transit funding included in the TIP will provide cutting-edge technology upgrades for two FrontRunner engines. The upgrades will allow the engines to burn cleaner fuel, improving air quality that benefits both transit riders and drivers alike.
  • $100 million for recreational hotspots. This funding will be directed to projects in the state that reduce congestion, facilitate tourism, and enhance economic development near recreational areas.

For a complete list of projects, visit wfrc.org/tip to learn more and comment on the proposed projects via a public comment layer on WFRC’s online interactive map. Public comment on the Draft 2018-2023 TIP runs through Saturday, Aug. 5.

Representatives will be available to answer questions about the TIP projects via two in-person open houses held on Tuesday, July 18 at the Ogden Intermodal Center at 2350 Wall Avenue in Ogden and Thursday, July 20 at the Salt Lake Central Station at 250 South 600 West in Salt Lake City. Both events will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Portions of the open houses will be streamed live via WFRC’s Facebook account.

About Isaac Riddle 579 Articles
Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.