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Utah Rail System Finishes Ahead of Schedule and $300 Million Under Budget

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and U.S. Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) attended the grand opening of the fifth and final rail line of Utah Transit Authority's (UTA) Frontlines 2015 Program, two years ahead of schedule and $300 million under budget.
August 21, 2013, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Frontlines is composed of four TRAX light rail transit (LRT) extensions and the Frontrunner commuter rail line, totaling 70 miles of new rail lines. The newest LRT extension is the 3.8 mile Draper Hall line to Salt Lake City's southern suburb of Draper, population 42,000 (2012, Factfinder, 

[Draper was preparing early for the new LRT line, as we noted here in 2008, "TOD Gets Green Light in Utah"].

Covering the August 16 grand opening ceremony for Deseret News was Jasen Lee. 

The extension is the final project of UTA’s FrontLines 2015 rail program. Construction for the project began in 2008 and included five (sic) light rail lines: the $370 million West Valley extension (Green Line), the $535 million Mid-Jordan line (Red Line), the $350 million Airport line (Green Line) and the $143 million Draper TRAX extension on the Blue Line, along with the $850 million FrontRunner South commuter rail line from Salt Lake City to Provo.

"We're working with local communities to make sure that we are doing everything we can to streamline the process to help other communities achieve their transit projects not only on time, but also under budget," DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx told the crowd.

Coverage of the event can also be found on the US DOT website. They note that the "Federal Transit Administration (FTA) committed $116 million for the Draper extension through its New Starts Capital Investment Grant Program... FTA committed approximately $545 million in total to the Frontlines 2015 Program, which includes $90 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."

Local funds for Frontlines projects were provided by county sales taxes.

In November 2006, Utah County and Salt Lake County residents voted to increase their sales tax by one-quarter of a cent, enabling accelerated delivery of these projects. [June 2011, Metro Magazine]

Full Story:
Published on Friday, August 16, 2013 in Deseret News
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