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SALT LAKE CITY — Some bicyclist and pedestrian hot spots in four major Utah cities will be seeing some changes in the near future after a federal grant was awarded to the Utah Department of Transportation and Utah Transit Authority.
Jacob Spland, UTA engineer and construction planner, said for decades the railroad tracks at 300 North and 500 West in Salt Lake City have acted as a physical barrier for commuters and neighborhoods.
“Residents of nearby neighborhoods have voiced their concerns about the dangers that exist here,” Spland said.
Over the past few years, local transportation agencies have documented how people walking and bicycling on 300 North have put themselves in danger crossing this railroad, often crawling under or climbing between railroad cars to reach destinations.
“We have a lot of students trying to get to West High School that come through here and also trying to get to their employment,” Spland said.
A pedestrian and bicycle bridge at the location will improve east-west connections and allow for safe and comfortable passage over this barrier, Spland said. Local agencies have documented complaints and pursued an application for federal funding to make these improvements.
Last year, UDOT and UTA awarded $20 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to go toward designing and constructing pedestrian and bike bridges near Murray Park, as well as near Frontrunner stations in Provo, Lehi, and Salt Lake City.
UTA hopes to have the bridges in all four cities completed by 2021.