Parsons BrinckerhoffUTA Airport TRAX Line, Salt Lake City
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) realized another major milestone in April with the opening of its Airport TRAX Line, a six-mile extension of the region’s TRAX light rail system that connects with the existing TRAX in downtown Salt Lake City. It includes six stations, including a direct transfer to the FrontRunner commuter rail line.
The Airport TRAX Line, combined with the University TRAX Line, now connects the top three trip generators in Utah: Salt Lake City International Airport, University of Utah and downtown Salt Lake City. In the year 2030, it is anticipated the line will carry more than 14,000 passengers per day.
In December, 2012, UTA opened the 45-mile FrontRunner South Extension, enabling passengers to travel between Salt Lake City and Provo in about an hour. The extension doubles the length of the line when combined with FrontRunner North, which began operating between Ogden and Salt Lake City in 2008.
The Airport TRAX Line and FrontRunner are among the five rail projects that comprise UTA’s ambitious Frontlines 2015 program. The projects were designed to provide residents with transportation options and enhance mobility for motorists by decreasing traffic congestion through the addition of 70 miles of rail to the existing 64-mile network. Originally targeted for completion in 2030, the FrontLines program was accelerated in November 2006 when Utah County and Salt Lake County residents voted to increase their sales tax by $.0025; three of the Frontlines projects required no federal funding thanks to the successful referendum.
Parsons Brinckerhoff has been serving as program manager on the FrontLines 2015 program since its inception in 2006. The firm’s responsibilities have included preparation of implementation/development plans, financial and procurement planning, conceptual development, public outreach, vehicle procurement, right-of-way procurement, design oversight, stakeholder coordination, project controls, construction management, and management and administration of project contracts.
With the opening of the Airport TRAX line, UTA and its partners — including federal, state and local government; the transportation industry and the public — are another step closer to completing a system of transit alternatives to the congested highways along the Wasatch Front, the narrow valley that is home to two million people in a chain of cities that includes Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden. This makes FrontLines a key to realizing Utah’s vision of greener, more sustainable communities and a better quality of life.