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Draper Journal

City council approves preferred alternative for TRAX

Nov 29, 2016 04:39PM ● By Kelly Cannon

The preferred alternative route would connect at the Draper commuter rail station, head south through the future prison development site and then connect over to the north/south rail line. (Draper City)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

If the Utah Transit Authority ever expands its mid-Jordan TRAX line to Draper, the Draper City Council has a preferred line already picked out. The council adopted a preferred alternative for a mass transit line from the mid-Jordan TRAX line during its Nov. 1 meeting. 

“It’s basically the alternative that Draper wants to have,” said Russ Fox, assistant city manager. 

The presentation was given by Ted Knowlton, deputy director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC). Knowlton described WFRC as working to develop a long-reaching transportation plan on behalf of the communities in the Wasatch Front. 

“This has been an element in our existing transportation plan, to think about how we provide a high-quality transit connection from the mid-Jordan line over to commuter rail,” Knowlton said. “We’re delighted to see this move forward into the next steps.”

Knowlton noted the preferred alternative is consistent with the regional transit plan. 

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) conducted a study to help determine where a future TRAX line would connect to the Draper commuter rail system. According to Hal Johnson, manager of project development, the preferred alignment from the study would connect at the Draper commuter rail station, head south through the future prison development site and then connect over to the north/south rail line. 

“It would provide the regional system a system connection. It connects our light rail line and our commuter rail line,” Johnson said. “We’re excited about having all of those system connections.”

The UTA has done a lot of community outreach with the project including focus groups, public polling, individual meetings with businesses and open houses. 

“Generally, there was support for the alignment,” Johnson said. “We spent most of our time trying to figure out how to get out of South Jordan. That’s the area with the highest density.”

Johnson said the South Jordan City Council, Herriman City Council and Riverton City Council have all adopted preferred alignment. 

“What we’re asking the cities to do is to adopt this element into your transportation plan and in your general plan so as development moves forward, we’re able to preserve the right of way,” Johnson said. 

Councilwoman Michele Weeks expressed excitement over the project but had questions regarding the line coming down through 123000 South in Draper. 

“When you’re coming down 123rd in Draper, the traffic is horrendous going west,” Weeks said.  Putting a train down 123rd is going to add more traffic jams.”

Weeks also brought up the importance of letting residents know a TRAX line may be in their backyard. Johnson replied time is on their side to work with the community. 

Johnson commented these plans won’t come to fruition for another decade. 

“Looking at what we’re trying to do in the future, most of our projects are trying to link commuter rail to the community,” Johnson said. “This project is really doing that.”

The adoption was passed unanimously.