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Utah’s Trax line now built to the airport

Case Studies | April 1, 2011 | By:

Project basics

The Salt Lake City Airport Trax Line is a six-mile light-rail extension that will connect with the existing Trax system at the Arena Station, located at 400 West and South Temple.

When completed, the Airport Trax Line, combined with the University Trax Line, will connect the top three trip generators in the entire state of Utah (the airport, University of Utah, and downtown Salt Lake City). The alignment will travel north on 400 West to North Temple. It will then run west along North Temple to the airport access road at 2400 West, which it will follow into the airport, conveniently stopping adjacent to Terminal One. Similar to the University Trax Line, the Airport Line will run down the middle of 400 West and North Temple Streets.

Geofoam fill

Each of the two fill sections on this portion of the project is estimated to be larger than any known continuous section of geofoam fill used in the U.S.

By comparison, the Trax West Valley line, although it used 1,890,000ft3 of geofoam, was installed in seven different sections along the light-rail line (approximately 270,000ft3 per section). Each of the airport extension sections will use approximately 800,000ft3.

Current status and stations

Construction began in 2009, with completion expected by 2013. The project includes the following six stations:

  • 500 West North Temple (will allow direct transfer to FrontRunner)
  • 800 West North Temple
  • 1100 West North Temple (at the Utah State Fair Park)
  • 1500 West North Temple at Garside Avenue
  • 1950 West North Temple at Winifred Street
  • Salt Lake City International Airport

In addition, a potential future station is located at 2200 West North Temple, which would be built when ridership and land use criteria are met.

Project benefits

By 2030, it is anticipated the Airport Trax Line will carry more than 14,000 passengers per day.

Expected users of the Airport line are business and leisure travelers, airport-area employees, park-and-ride commuters and area residents.

Concurrent with the building of the Airport Trax Line, Salt lake City is planning on incorporating “Great Street” principles into North Temple, highlighting it as a gateway into the city by upgrading lighting, pedestrian and bicycle amenities, and public art.

The project is expected to improve transit travel times and service for residents of west Salt Lake City and travelers to the SLC International Airport. It will offer easy connections to downtown Salt Lake City, the University of Utah, West Valley, South Jordan and eventually to Draper. The project will offer commuters a high-speed transit option that is a viable alternative to the automobile, and it will increase overall mobility in Salt Lake County.

Sources: ACH Foam Technologies, Utah Transit Authority

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