Future TRAX Line Extensions
Aug 04, 2015 10:39AM
● By Bryan Scott
By Briana Kelley
South Valley - UTA announced plans to extend TRAX lines south through Herriman Towne Center and Riverton on 12600 South. This announcement comes at the end of a five-year feasibility study conducted by UTA, which focused on extending the transportation network in the southwest Salt Lake County area.
Though far from completion, this UTA project is at a significant milestone and UTA representatives are ready to present the proposal to the public.
UTA representatives Hal Johnson and Brianne Emery updated Riverton City Council on June 16 and discussed appropriate next steps for the project. The council was also asked informally to preserve the proposed route as a transit corridor. The proposed TRAX line will continue south from Daybreak and travel to Herriman Towne Center. It will then turn east until it reaches Bangerter Highway. There it will follow the highway north until 12600 south. The TRAX line will then turn east on 12600 South and continue on until reaching Draper.
“We looked at many, many different alternatives and there has actually been a previous study that looked at other alternatives, and this is the one that kind of has come through that process as the best alternative. It has the least impact, the most ridership. We feel that it serves the community best coming through that screening process,” Johnson said.
The feasibility studies began in 2010 and covered a 33-square-mile region. Both studies aimed to identify the purpose and need for extended transportation in this area and then determine and screen alternatives.
Throughout the process UTA has endeavored to educate and include residents, business owners and city officials through an open house, public workshop, online survey and University of Utah student involvement.
UTA will seek direct public opinion during the next stage of the process. UTA representatives want to gather public input through two open houses to be held in Riverton and Herriman in the upcoming months. Johnson and Emery will continue to work closely with Assistant City Manager Jeff Hawker to organize the open house in Riverton and share information.
After assessing public opinion, UTA will continue developing plans for expansion. However, before funding is obtained and construction begins, an environmental study needs to be conducted as well as approval of preliminary and final engineering plans.
Councilmember Paul Wayman objected to the proposed route and asked that other routes be considered. He stated a conflict of interest as he lives on 12600 South and believes another route would be more beneficial for other parties.
However, Johnson explained that alternatives have already been analyzed in two long-term studies and the route that continues down 12600 South is the most feasible at this time. Councilmember Tricia Tingey and others agreed. Looking at other alternatives again “would take us years in the wrong direction,” Tingey said.
Despite Wayman’s objections, all other council members gave a nod to take the proposal to the public and move forward. “There is a lot of work that has gone into this and a lot of work will continue to go into this,” Mayor Bill Applegarth said.
All residents will be invited to all open houses; there will be one open house for each city. At the time of publication, open house dates, times and locations had yet to be decided