UTA 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.[PAGEBREAK]
Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, San Diego
In May, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) released its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Subsequent Environmental Impact Report for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project.
The $1.98 billion light rail project is the proposed extension of the Blue Line transit service from downtown San Diego to University City.
The proposed 11-mile extension would add eight new stations, including stops at major destinations, such as La Jolla Village Square; University of California, San Diego; and the Westfield University Towne Centre Transit Center. An additional station at the San Diego Veterans Hospital is also being considered.
One truly unique benefit the project will offer is a one-seat ride from the Mexican border at the San Ysidro Transit Center and other communities south of Downtown San Diego all the way up to University City, a 30-mile passage. University City is the second largest employment area outside of Downtown San Diego. The new extension will also connect other Trolley lines currently serving major business and residential hubs such as South Bay, East County and Mission Valley.
HDR|InfraConsult, in association with TY Lin International, is the project management consultant (PMC) for the project. Led by Tom Jenkins, principal consultant for public transportation planning and development, PMC staff serves as an extension of the SANDAG project team, covering key positions including the project manager, deputy project manager, design manager and the project controls manager. Responsibilities include providing managerial and technical advisory services as well as project management of both the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phases.
The PMC team is also responsible for assisting SANDAG in guiding the project through the often complex FTA New Starts Project Development process. Scheduled to begin revenue operations in late 2018, the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project will improve public access to neighboring regional activity centers as well as offer a more reliable travel alternative to local and regional destinations for residents, commuters and visitors.[PAGEBREAK]
Denver RTD West Corridor Line light rail service, Denver
A new, 12-mile extension of the Denver Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) West Corridor (W Line) light rail service in Denver, successfully opened in April. STV provided Project Management Oversight Consultant (PMOC) services to the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration and the RTD.
The W Line is a 12.1-mile transit extension connecting Denver to Golden, Colo. It’s the first completed piece of a planned $6.5 billion upgrade of mass passenger transportation services for the voter-approved FasTracks program. The W Line opened eight months ahead of schedule and on budget, according to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
As the PMOC, STV worked with the FTA’s and RTD West Corridor’s management teams in reviewing, reporting and recommending solutions with regards to the project’s schedule, budget and quality of this major transportation investment. STV is also supporting two other components of RTD’s FasTracks projects, including the Gold Line and the East Corridor.
“We owe a lot to the entire project team,” Ed Pouttu, resident PMOC and vehicle engineer said. “Without their foresight and expertise, we wouldn’t have had such a successful opening weekend.”
For more than 25 years, STV has provided PMOC services for dozens of transit projects across the U.S.
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