Breaking ground on the Sugar House Streetcar

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

The Sugar House Streetcar construction is officially underway.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined business leaders, elected officials and representatives from both UTA and UDOT to break ground on the $55.5 million project. The project was awarded $26 million from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II program. The TIGER II program provides most of the remaining funding needed to proceed with the project.

“This is about the next generation of transportation,” said Sec. LaHood (at podium, below). “This is a celebration of the jobs that will be created and the opportunity for economic development.”

The line will run east from the TRAX Central Pointe Station at 2100 South to 1040 East, just west of Fairmont Park. The line will be surrounded by business development, greenway, pedestrian walkways, bike lanes and residences.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says $400 million of commercial investment has already been secured along the corridor. Construction of the streetcar accelerated or is partially responsible for the creation of over 1,000 residential units and nearly two million square feet of redevelopment on seven sites in the Sugar House Business District. The streetcar corridor’s greenway will add an additional 5.76 acres of public green space to the area’s neighborhoods.

“We have the finest transportation leaders in the nation in our state,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber (at podium, above). “People in Utah have vision and that makes a big difference for businesses and for all the people of Utah.”

Work began on the Sugar House Streetcar line in the early 2000s. The line was designed to connect the TRAX Blue Line (running from downtown to Sandy) with neighborhoods in South Salt Lake City and Salt Lake City.

“I don’t know of a better way to spend tax dollars than to bring communities together and creating economic opportunity,” said Sec. LaHood.

When the project opens, ridership is projected at 3,000 riders per weekday, rising to more than 4,000 by 2030. Construction on the line actually began last month and is anticipated to be complete late next year.