SALT LAKE CITY — Beginning May 4, both TRAX passengers and vehicle traffic will be diverted around an $8.5 million monthlong project to replace aging portions of the light rail track downtown.
The Utah Transit Authority detailed plans Friday to re-route passengers on the Green, Blue and Red lines during three phases of construction on Main Street between 150 South and 400 South expected to last until June 2.
"This is probably UTA's most significant repair project since TRAX first opened in December 1999," Eddy Cumins, the transit authority's chief operating officer, said. "The tracks and switches in this area have been in service for almost 20 years."
Working around the clock between the City Center and Courthouse stations will allow the project to be completed in four weeks "as opposed to months of ongoing disruption," Cumins said.
All businesses in the area will remain open throughout the construction. But there will be impacts on TRAX passengers as well as drivers traveling through downtown.
"This is a disruption to everyone's traffic routes that they normally go through as well as our riders," James Larson, a UTA communications specialist, said. "It basically cuts all our three lines in half."
Transferring to shuttle buses or walking around the construction area could add 10 to 30 minutes to TRAX trips, Larson said, while vehicle traffic will be diverted for road closures, including from I-15.
Some FrontRunner connections and bus routes will also be affected.
Volunteers will be on hand and UTA will also be utilizing social media, including Twitter, to assist customers, he said. Information on the project is available online at rideuta.com/construction.Comment on this story
Nighttime preparations are already being made for the project to replace the track junction at Main Street and 400 South and four turnouts on Main Street and 150 South that could result in lane closures between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
UTA Project Manager Greg Thorpe said the new track junction will be quieter. He said the project was scheduled to start once the University of Utah is out of session and is expected to be completed just in time for the annual Utah Pride Parade on June 2.
Thorpe said another TRAX track replacement project is planned for July, but may involve only weekend shutdowns.