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TRAX University Line

This page was last updated on May 26, 2013.

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Overview

The University TRAX line is a 3.74-mile light rail line connecting downtown Salt Lake City with the University of Utah Medical Center on the city's east bench. The line, which connects the two largest traffic generators in Salt Lake City -- downtown and the University of Utah -- runs from the intersection of Main Street and 400 South, east along 400 South (500 South after 1000 East) to Rice-Eccles Stadium, then along South Campus Drive to Medical Drive (also known as Mario Capecchi Drive) to the University of Utah Medical Center.

Construction began in August 2000 on the initial 2.3-mile segment from downtown to the University of Utah, at the Rice-Eccles stadium. The University Line was completed and opened to the public on December 15, 2001. Six months after opening, the University Line was carrying 8,000 riders daily, double the initial projections.

The 1.5-mile extension from the Rice-Eccles Stadium to the University of Utah Medical Center was begun in May 2002. The Medical Center Extension was completed and opened to the public on September 29, 2003. The extension cost $90 million, and was completed a year ahead of schedule.

(Wikipedia entry for UTA TRAX University Line)

Timeline

[Most recent event listed first]

July 8, 2011
The University Line was designated as part of the Red Line on July 8, 2011; the other portion of the Red Line was to be the not-yet-completed Mid-Jordan Line. (Salt Lake Tribune, July 9, 2011)

(Of the three colors being considered, Red, Green and Blue, Red was selected instead of Blue, due to the sports rivalry between the University of Utah [Red], and Brigham Young University [Blue].)

September 29, 2003
First day of operation for the 1.5 mile Medical Center Extension, which extended the existing 2.3 mile University Extension from Rice-Eccles Stadium east to the University Medical Center. (Light Rail Now article) (KSL.com, September 28 and 29, 2003; Deseret News, September 30, 2003)

May 2002
Construction began on the extension to the University of Utah Medical Center. (UTA Progress Report for 2002)

January 2002
UTA signed an agreement with the Utah Department of Transportation and the University of Utah paving the way for another 1.5-mile, four-station light rail extension from Rice-Eccles to University Hospital. The cost has been estimated at $89.3 million, including $20 million for seven new light rail vehicles. UTA has filed an application with the Federal Transit Administration for 60% of the financing. The local share will come from the county sales tax. UTA plans to have the line open by fall 2003. (Railway Age, January 2002)

December 15, 2001
The new TRAX University Extension was opened to the public on December 15, 2001. The 2.3-mil line extends from the main TRAX north-south line at 400 South, east to Rice-Eccles Stadium on the University of Utah campus. The contract was awarded in June 2000, and work began in August 2000. (Deseret News, December 15, 2001)

April 2001
Design has begun on a 1.5-mile TRAX light rail extension that would take Salt Lake City's University line, which is now under construction, from Rice-Eccles Stadium to the Medical Center complex. The project would cost beween $75 million and $100 million and would include three new stations. Utah Transit Authority officials said they want to start work early next year and have the line finished late in 2004. (Railway Age, April 2001)

(In April 2001, all service north of 400 South along the Main Street mainline, was halted for three weeks to allow the track switch to the new University Line to be installed.)

August 2000
Construction began on the University Line. (Deseret News, December 15, 2001)

June 2000
UTA awarded SLC Rail Constructors a design-build contract estimated at $118 million for a 2.5-mile TRAX light rail extension from downtown Salt Lake City to the University of Utah. (Railway Age, June 2000)

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