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Utah is sending $95 million to 18 pilot projects as it embarks on an ambitious statewide network plan

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Stephanie Tomlin points to 3900 South as she stands along the Jordan Parkway Trail on a sunny and warm Thursday morning.

A 2.3 mile “east-west” trail is planned along the road on this section of the road. The idea is for the trail to connect West Temple east to the popular Jordan River trail, allowing users to avoid the busy I-15 freeway interchanges in between.

“This is definitely an important project. We want to build more projects like this,” said Tomlin, director of the Utah Department of Transportation’s Trails Division. “I would say it really gives people an actual transportation option.”

UDOT announced Thursday that the state is dedicating $10 million in new state funds to complete the project. Construction could start as early as next year.

The bigger vision is for the trail to run “east to west,” connecting multiple communities via 3900 South/4100 South and transit stations in the central part of the Salt Lake Valley, she adds.

The connection along the Jordan River Parkway allows users to travel into Davis County or into Utah County without leaving the trail.

A view across 3900 South in Salt Lake County.  Officials with the Utah Department of Transportation say a roadside trail will eventually provide an alternative form of transportation for area communities such as South Salt Lake, Millcreek and Taylorsville.  |  Carter Williams, KSL.com

A view across 3900 South in Salt Lake County. Officials with the Utah Department of Transportation say a roadside trail will eventually provide an alternative form of transportation for area communities such as South Salt Lake, Millcreek and Taylorsville. | Carter Williams, KSL.com

It is also one of thirteen “build-ready” trail projects that have received funding through the $95 million the Utah Legislature approved for a future trail network connecting the state. Utah Transportation Commission officials also ordered:

  • $14 million for the Bingham Creek Trail, a 6.4-mile trail connecting the Jordan River Parkway Trail with Bingham Creek Regional Park in Daybreak and the Mountain View Corridor Trail in Salt Lake County.

  • $12.5 million to fill a 0.7-mile gap on the Colorado River Trail along state Route 128 in Moab.

  • $8.8 million for a 5-mile trail extension to connect the Moab Canyon Pathway to the planned Utahraptor State Park Visitor Center.

  • $8.7 million for a new, separated intersection for safer trail crossing at 2050 North and State Route 108 in Davis County, filling a gap in the trail. The project will also complete connections to the 1800 North Trail and Denver & Rio Grande Trail in the area.

  • $8 million for a 1.7-mile paved trail from the Heber City train depot to 1200 South, and from state Route 113 to the Deer Creek Trail at Soldier Hollow using the existing Heber Valley Railroad alignment.

  • $7 million for a 1.5-mile shared-use trail along the Welby Jacobs Canal Trail from 12600 South to 13800 South in Riverton. It would include a separate crossing over 13400 South.

  • $7 million for a 5-mile stretch from downtown Orderville to Mt. Carmel Junction in Kane County. The project will be a “critical” segment in a network connecting Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks.

  • $5 million for a 2.1-mile trail from I-15 to the Utah Lakeshore Trail in Vineyard.

  • $4.5 million for a new 1.9-mile trail from 500 North to US 40 in Vernal, along portions of the Steinaker Service Canal and 500 North.

  • $4 million for a 2.8-mile trail connecting Ridgeline High School to the Blackhawk Soccer Complex in Cache Valley, along the Blacksmith Fork River. It would also connect to the Logan River Walk trail.

  • $3 million for a 0.8-mile trail between the Bear Lake Marina and Broad Hollow Road in Rich County.

  • $600,000 for a 0.5-mile trail along 1300 West in Bluffdale from a future separated railroad crossing to the nearby Jordan River Parkway Trail.

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According to Tomlin, all thirteen projects were selected after an intensive review of more than 160 projects brought to UDOT’s attention last year.

She explained that in this first round of funding, UDOT deliberately focused on projects that could fill gaps in existing routes. Many were already well planned and employed difficult barriers such as railway lines, roads or bodies of water.

As with the 3900 South project, construction on the twelve other projects could begin as early as 2025.

“UDOT is excited to come in and provide additional funding to get them through the finish line and ensure that (local communities) have enough funding to make this happen and to get them built,” Tomlin said, stating explained that most projects are linked to public projects. public transport or important communal facilities.

Another $2.1 million went toward planning five projects across the state that would add another 27 miles of trails, UDOT also announced Thursday. These are projects that are desirable, but are left behind much earlier in the design process.

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The initial funding is the first step in a long-term process that will ultimately connect state regions. Governor Spencer Cox and UDOT Director Carlos Braceras announced the ambitious walking network project in 2022, saying they want to connect all the regional walking networks that cities and counties have built over the years.

The Utah Legislature appropriated $45 million in one-time funds last year and set up the framework for the program to receive up to $45 million in ongoing funds each year. According to UDOT, design work for larger projects is expected to increase this year.

The idea is that it could create another alternative travel route for the growing state, while also adding new recreational opportunities.

“These efforts bring people together,” Braceras said in a statement. “We want to do our part by connecting communities through a state-funded program that will build trails as part of the state’s transportation system.”

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