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John Daley Reporting...A coalition of community groups and government leaders is trying to sort out a series of logistical, financial and political challenges to a recreation project that appears to have broad support.
The idea: An 8 mile pedestrian and bike trail connecting Parley's Canyon to the Jordan River Parkway.
The Bonneville Shoreline Trail and the Jordan River Parkway are two of the most popular and widely used trails in the state. However – there is no decent east-west path connecting them.
The Parley's Rails, Trails and Tunnels Coalition is working to solve that by developing a new bike/pedestrian path starting in Parley's Canyon at the Shoreline Trail. It would run under I-215 in a new tunnel, following the Interstate-80 corridor west to the Jordan River Parkway -- potentially going through Sugarhouse Park. It would then run along the old Denver Rio Grande Rail line -- a possible future Trax corridor -- and eventually link with the Jordan River Parkway.
Members of the coalition say they hope the trail will connect communities.
Karen Hale, Parley's Creek Corridor Trail Coalition: "ALL SORTS OF POSITIVES WITH TRAILS. YOU HAVE A REDUCTION IN CRIMES, YOU HAVE AN INCREASE IN PROPERTY VALUES, YOU HAVE AN INCREASE IN THE FITNESS OF YOUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS."
There is some official opposition from leaders in the city of South Salt Lake, which is already cut in two by I-80.
Stacey Liddiard, South Salt Lake Council Chair: "WE'VE BEEN DIVIDED MANY TIMES AND WE DON'T FEEL THAT THIS WOULD BE A BENEFIT FOR OUR RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY."
Some business owners with property near the line say they support it.
Jim Platt, Dancing Cranes Imports: "WE'D REALLY LIKE TO IT BE A GARDEN SPOT WITH TREES AND A NICE PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO COME DOWN."
John Daley, Eyewitness News: "PROPONENTS OF THE PROPOSAL HAVE NOT YET COME UP WITH THE FUNDS TO PAY FOR IT. BUT THEY ESTIMATE IT'LL COST IN THE RANGE OF 9 MILLION DOLLARS AND BE COMPLETED BY THE END OF THE DECADE."
Besides the new trail, there's even an effort in the works by one man to restore old rail cars that might someday run along old historic rail lines through the Sugarhouse area.