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TRAX Airport Line

This page was last updated on June 1, 2013.

(Return to UTA TRAX Index page)

Overview

The Airport TRAX line branches off the north/south TRAX line at the Arena Station, travelling north along 400 West and then turning west on North Temple. Then west along North Temple to 2400 West, then follows the airport access road to the eastern edge of the airport's Terminal One.

Construction started in October 2008, and the Airport Line was completed and opened to the public on April 14, 2013.

Timeline

[most recent entry first]

April 14, 2013
The Airport Line was completed and opened to the public. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 13, 2013; Railway Track & Structures Daily Update, April 16, 2013)

November 15, 2012
The North Temple viaduct was formally completed, and all traffic barriers were removed. The project started in April 2010. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 15, 2012)

November 13, 2012
UTA began running test trains on the new TRAX Airport line. The line is projected to open for full operational use on April 14, 2013. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 13, 2012)

May 2012
The intersection of 400 West and South Temple was closed May 4th to May 26th to allow the final connection was made between the Airport Line and the existing TRAX system. During this time, the Arena station was the end of the line, with buses providing service to Salt Lake Central to connect with FrontRunner trains. Throughout March and April, different parts of the North Temple and the South Temple intersections with 400 West were closed at night, or restircted during the day, to allow preparations to be completed. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, May 4, 2012)

Early June 2011
The last rail was laid during the first week of June, at the intersection of 900 West and North Temple. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, June 8, 2011)

May 19, 2011
Prior to the final connection being made between the new Airport Line, and the existing TRAX system at the intersection of 400 West and South Temple, the trackwork was laid for what is called a "Half Grand Union," meaning a three-way meeting of double-track lines. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, May 25, 2011)

Mid September 2011
Tracks were first installed along North Temple, between Redwood Road and the Jordan River. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, September 16, 2016)

August 17, 2011
Salt Lake City opened the new and shorter North Temple viaduct to two-way automobile traffic. The double-tracked TRAX rail line was to be completed during 2012. (KSL.com video, with aerial views)

July 8, 2011
The Airport Line was designated as part of the Green Line on July 8, 2011; the other portion of the Green Line was the West Valley Line, opened to the public on August 7, 2011. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 9, 2011)

June 24-27, 2011
Tracks were installed in the intersection of North Temple and Redwood Road. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, June 24, 2011)

Mid April 2011
The first rail was laid for the Airport Line, along the area between the airport and the Surplus Canal. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, April 22, 2011)

September 8, 2010
Work was completed on the new Jordan River bridge at 1200 West, in time for the opening of the Utah State Fair on September 9th. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, September 10, 2010)

June-July 2010
The new bridge over the North Surplus Canal, near the airport, was completed in mid June. The new bridge for the South Surplus Canal, near I-80, was completed in the first week of July. (UTA Airport Line weekly email updates, June 18, 2010; July 16, 2010)

April 20, 2010
Work started on the demolition of the North Temple Viaduct, which was to be replaced by a shorter version over which UTA would build its TRAX Airport line. The bridge was closed to all traffic at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday April 18, 2010. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 15, 2010; Deseret News, April 20, 2010)

March 20, 2010
The new Jordan River bridge for the north lanes of North Temple was completed, and demolition of the south lanes began. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, April 16, 2010)

September 27, 2009
Work began on the new Jordan River bridge at 1200 West. Work was to continue for eight months, starting first with the north lanes, then the south lanes. Demolition of the bridge for the north lanes began on October 1st. (UTA Airport Line weekly email update, October 9, 2009)

September 2, 2009
Contractors began work on the new right-of-way the the TRAX Airport Line on the wetlands area near the airport, adjacent to and on the north side of the feeder lanes between Interstate 215 and Interstate 80. (Deseret News, September 2, 2009)

June-July 2009
Initial construction was focused on updating utilities along North Temple. The first street closures were to allow utility work at the intersection of North Temple and Redwood Road. (UTA Airport Line weekly email updates)

October 22, 2008
Ground breaking for UTA's Airport TRAX light rail line took place on Wednesday October 22, at Utah State Fairpark, 1000 West North Temple. The Airport TRAX line branches off from current TRAX service at the Arena Station. The six-mile, five-station light-rail line will run from downtown Salt Lake City to Salt Lake International Airport's Terminal One. (Railway Age, October 20, 2008; Progressive Railroading, October 21, 2008; Salt Lake Tribune, October 22, 2008; Deseret News, October 22, 2008)

June 12, 2008
Salt Lake City and UTA signed an agreement concerning the route for the Airport Line, designating 400 West as the route, making use of a new North Temple viaduct. The agreement was approvedd by the Salt Lake City Council on May 8, 2008. Prior to the agreement, beginning in late August 2007, UTA was seeking support for using a route along 600 West, straight north from the recently completed (in April 2008) intermodal extension. This route along 600 West included a new viaduct that crossed over the Union Pacific tracks at South Temple. There were numerous complaints that this 600 West viaduct would have negative impacts on the neighborhood, which was already suffering economically. The route along 600 West would turn west at the intersection with North Temple, at the western end of the existing North Temple viaduct. (Deseret News, May 8, 2008 and June 12, 2008; Salt Lake Tribune, August 30, 2007; Deseret News, August 31, 2007)

Salt Lake City making TRAX for airport -- Salt Lake City and the Utah Transit Authority have signed an agreement to proceed with a $300 million light rail extension from the city's downtown to Salt Lake City International Airport. Construction could begin by year's end, with completion slated for late 2012. The agreement also extends the fare-free zone for TRAX and bus riders in downtown Salt Lake City, in exchange for a city contribution of $35 million to the light rail project. TRAX recently ordered 77 S-70 light rail cars, worth $277 million, from Siemens Transportation Systems, with an option for 180 additional cars, in part to anticipate equipment needs associated with additional light rail service to the airport. (Railway Age, Volume 209, Number 7, July 2008, page 18)

November 5, 2007
Salt Lake City's Transportation Advisory Board voted 7 to 2 in favor of placing UTA's Airport TRAX line along the existing North Temple viaduct. UTA had proposed a new viaduct along 600 West to save the projected costs of rebuilding the North Temple viaduct to accommodate TRAX light rail trains. UTA had said that they would only suppport the North Temple alignment if a two-level station was added atop the viaduct that would connect TRAX light rails trains with Frontrunner commuter trains immediately below the vaduct. This two-level station was projected to add $10 million to the cost, compared to the 600 West alignment. Local residents and businesses were more in favor of the North Temple alignment, expressing concerns that adding yet another viaduct would "box us in". If TRAX uses the North Temple viaduct, the viaduct will have to be shortened and completely rebuilt to allow TRAX access to the viaduct from 400 West, very similar to the pre-1972 version of the viaduct. A new viaduct would add width to better accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, and allow Salt Lake City to reconfigure this portion of North Temple as a "grand boulevard" entrance to the city. A two-level TRAX/Frontrunner station would include stairs and an elevator between the upper and lower portions of the new combined station. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 6, 2007)

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