May 20, 2024 - News

Utah trail system to begin construction as soon as 2025

Illustration of a pattern of bicycles.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A proposed paved trail network connecting communities throughout Utah is moving closer to realization.

Why it matters: The Utah State Trail System aims to enable residents and visitors to reach their destinations without relying on cars, Stephanie Tomlin, trail division director for UDOT, told Axios.

  • The project also intends to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.
  • Plus, alternative transportation modes, such as walking and biking, can enhance quality of life and mood, she noted.

Driving the news: The project recently secured its first round of state funding — $95 million — to get started on 60 miles of trails. Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as next summer.

  • Gov. Spencer Cox and UDOT executive director Carlos Braceras announced the proposed trail network in 2022.

Zoom out: Tomlin said transportation officials have been studying the funding model and any challenges of Florida's SUN Trail network created in 2015 for bicyclists and pedestrians.

What they're saying: "We're going to be really deliberate about ensuring this trail network is distributed across the whole state," Tomlin said.

By the numbers: More than half of the 13 trail projects planned are located along the Wasatch Front. They include:

Salt Lake County

Bingham Creek Trail ($14 million): a 6.3-mile trail to connect the Jordan River Parkway Trail to Daybreak's Bingham Creek Regional Park and the Mountain View Corridor trail. The project will connect to TRAX stations and parks.

3900/4100 South shared-use path ($10 million): A new 1.4-mile, east-west trail from West Temple to Jordan River Parkway.

Welby Jacobs Canal Trail North ($7 million): A 1.5-mile shared-use path from 12600 South to 13800 South in Riverton along the Welby Jacobs Canal.

Jordan River Parkway Trail connection in Bluffdale ($600,000): A half-mile trail along 1300 West in Bluffdale to an area near the Jordan River Parkway Trail.

Davis County

SR-108 2050 North Trail Separated Crossing ($8.7 million): A new separated crossing to allow people on 2050 North to cross SR-108.

Utah County

Vineyard Connector/800 North Trail ($5 million): A new east-west, 2.1-mile trail from I-15 to the Utah Lakeshore Trail in downtown Vineyard.

Of note: Another five trail projects are undergoing a feasibility study.

What we're watching: Transportation officials haven't determined the trail system's full route.

  • A completion date goal has not been set, but Tomlin said the lofty project would take multiple years to reach completion.
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