UTA making steady progress on new TRAX lines

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WASATCH FRONT -- The Utah Transit Authority says work on five new TRAX rail lines is steadily progressing. Riders are expected to be able to hop on light rail on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley by next fall.

All five lines are expected to be done by 2015, which will add 70 miles to UTA's existing 64-mile rail network.

In the not-too-distant future, commuters on TRAX will have a lot more rail to ride.

UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said, "I don't think people realize how much it's going to transform our ability to get around the Wasatch Front using public transportation."

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As part of UTA's efforts to build 70 miles of rail lines in seven years, two new lines are nearing completion.

The line to West Valley City and another called Mid-Jordan, which heads southwest to the Daybreak community, should open by this time next year.

"It'll go all the way out to Daybreak in South Jordan. There's a huge community out there. A lot of development that's taking place," Carpenter said.

Another line will help facilitate growth at the University of Utah downtown.

"The University of Utah is building a new hospital. They'll be able ride the train from one hospital to the other hospital if they wanted to," Carpenter said.

UTA says the down economy means less revenue for UTA, but it had budgeted for the new lines for years.

"The sales tax revenues are down over our original projections. They are starting to recover now, we've had a couple of good months," Carpenter said. "Things are looking better but not as good as we thought they would be."

UTA FrontLines 2015 projects

ProjectDescriptionCompletion Date
<a href=http://www.rideuta.com/projects/midJordanLightRail/overview.aspx>Mid-Jordan Line</a>10.6-mile line running through Murray, Midvale, West Jordan, South JordanFall 2011
<a href=http://www.rideuta.com/projects/westValleyLightRail/overview.aspx>West Valley City Line</a>5.1-mile line running through South Salt Lake, West Valley City Fall 2011
<a href=http://www.rideuta.com/projects/draperLightRail/overview.aspx>Draper Line</a>3.5-mile line through Sandy and Draper2013
<a href=http://www.rideuta.com/projects/airportLightRail/overview.aspx>Airport Line</a>6-mile line running from downtown Salt Lake to SLC International Airport2013
<a href=http://www.rideuta.com/projects/commuterRailSouth/overview.aspx>FrontRunner South</a>44-mile line between downtown Salt Lake City and Provo2014
Utah Transit Authority

UTA says work on the lines is on budget and ahead of schedule.

The Draper line is expected to open in 2013. The FrontRunner commuter rail line between Provo and Salt Lake City is about 35 percent complete and should open in 2014.

Also, the TRAX line to Salt Lake International Airport is about 20 percent complete and is expected to be up and running by 2013. UTA says crews are making progress on the viaduct at North Temple and that it should be open for cars, bikes and pedestrians next fall.

All five lines are expected to be done by 2015, which will add 70 miles to UTA's existing 64-mile rail network.

E-mail: jdaley@ksl.com


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