Portions of three downtown streets will be closed for new and expanded median ramps that will access underground parking for the LDS Church's 25-acre, $1.5 billion City Creek Center development.

The Salt Lake City Council unanimously approved the partial closures Tuesday night, allowing City Creek Reserve Inc. to construct a new median ramp on South Temple between State and Main streets and expand the existing median ramps on West Temple and 100 South.

The council's action allows CCRI, a real-estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to negotiate with the mayor's office to purchase subsurface property rights from the city for its massive mix of residences, retailers and office space.

"We all agree this is a good thing to do because of the benefits to the city with the underground parking," Councilman Eric Jergensen said.

At Councilman Soren Simonsen's suggestion, the City Council also unanimously supported a request of the city administration to consider potential access to below-grade entrances for neighboring businesses and property owners other than CCRI, as well as issues of future utilities that may be needed there and the reversion of property rights if the ramps are abandoned.

The new parking ramp on South Temple would be built in the middle of the street with a westbound entrance and exit, providing access to underground parking at City Creek Center and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

On West Temple, the existing exit ramp that served the Crossroads Plaza parking garage would be widened to the east to allow northbound traffic to enter a new underground parking area. That would require northbound lanes on West Temple to be reduced from three to two lanes in the area of the widened ramp. The street would widen again to three lanes before intersecting with South Temple.

Proposed expansions for 100 South call for the ramp to remain within its existing footprint but be modified underground for more efficient traffic flow.

City staff has said none of the partial closures would conflict with UTA light-rail lines.

When CCRI first petitioned the city for the partial closures in September, the developers also wanted to extend the underground pedestrian walkway at Social Hall Avenue to connect to parking. CCRI officials have since said they want to further study alternatives to the proposed tunnel extension.

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