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Easing congestion: FrontRunner South progresses as crews unveil rail addition

LEHI (DESERET NEWS)  — One small step for Utah Transit Authority, one giant leap toward easing transportation congestion along the Wasatch Front.

Monday afternoon, UTA crews showed off their newest mile-long rail addition near the future Lehi station on the FrontRunner South line, which will eventually run from Salt Lake City to Provo.

The 45-mile commuter rail line, which parallels the Union Pacific tracks through the two counties, is slated for completion no later than 2015.

FrontRunner North, which shuttles riders from Salt Lake City to Pleasant View, is already in service.

UTA projects that FrontRunner South will have about 7,500 riders when it opens, but will expand to nearly 13,500 riders per average weekday by 2030 — roughly 330,000 trips each month, said Gerry Carpenter, UTA spokesman.

The south line has proposed stops in Murray, South Jordan, Draper/Bluffdale, Lehi, American Fork, Vineyard, Orem and Provo.

The Lehi station, nestled in the backyard of Thanksgiving Point, has the park-and-ride on the east side of the tracks, with the platform in the middle of the two UTA lines, Carpenter said. The only other station set up that way is in Farmington, where an above-grade bridge was constructed.

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