Construction has begun on a bridge that will close a critical gap in Salt Lake City’s section of the Jordan River Parkway Trail.
When finished, the bridge will mark the completion of this 45-mile trail, whose planning started in the 1970s. The bridge will span an active freight railroad corridor and create a new north-south connection between 200 South and North Temple. The trail follows the Jordan River for most of its course from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake marshes.
“This segment of the Jordan River Trail is a real feat of engineering and coordination, and it’s exciting to see this impressive bridge cap this long-term project,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
After many years of studying alternatives and working with the state, Union Pacific Railroad, Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway, and Rocky Mountain Power, the City decided on a design to span the three freight rail tracks and to curve past two large electrical transmission poles.
Coordinating the technical design was one challenge. Finding the funding needed to complete the $6-million project was the other. Six organizations have all contributed to the project: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, the Utah Legislature, Union Pacific Railroad, Jordan River Commission, and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. The bridge is being constructed by Gerber Construction, under contract with Salt Lake City.
In addition to its critical function in getting bicyclists, walkers, joggers, inline skaters and other trail users safely across the tracks, the picturesque arch of the bridge will rise above the City’s west side neighborhoods, creating a visible connection and a new destination for visitors.
“This project supports many of our City’s key goals – connecting communities, supporting open space and recreation, and promoting human-powered transportation to help clean our air,” the Mayor said.
In addition to completing the Jordan River Parkway Trail, this bridge will link together a 100-plus mile continuous trail system running from Provo to Ogden. A community celebration of the project is in preliminary stages of planning, with details forthcoming.
Announcement of the bridge construction coincides with May as National Bike Month. Salt Lake City and other communities throughout Utah are participating with additional events and announcements throughout the month, including Mayor’s Bike to Work Day on May 23rd.
For more information and updates on the bridge project, please visit: http://bikeslc.com/jordanrivertrail/default.html
For information on Mayor’s Bike to Work Day (a free and public event), please visit: http://bit.ly/2p66BcM