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State Street TRAX bridge completed

(Midvale Journal) -- After two years, the State Street (US-89) TRAX Bridge has finally been completed.

A double-span structure has replaced the historic single-span bridge, enabling the Utah Transit Authority to provide two-track service for TRAX trains. The new bridge was designed to reflect the art deco style of the old bridge.

The project also included reconstruction of the 7800 South intersection north of the TRAX bridge as well as improvements to the Center Street (7720 South) intersection. Areas of State Street below the bridge were widened and drainage improved. Landscaping, pedestrian walkways and six large murals depicting historic Midvale themes have added aesthetic appeal to the new bridge.

One of the main challenges facing the contractor was constructing two bridges with minimal impact to TRAX passenger service, according to Marwan Farah, UDOT resident engineer. Crews were able to achieve this with only one or two service interruptions, and all rail work was completed in late October 2008.

“Although at times working crews were not visible to commuters and others at ground level, TRAX passengers benefited by the completion of railroad work six months ahead of schedule,” Farah said.

“We’re elated about the TRAX Bridge project completion,” said Kane Loader, Midvale’s city manager. “The project went very well from our perspective, with few full closures needed and there was minimal disruption of traffic, even during the holiday season. The Utah Department of Transportation worked well with the city and, for the most part, kept us informed on the project and dealt with any public relations problems in a timely manner.”

Loader said the only drawback he can see to the new bridge and corresponding road improvements is that they make the rest of the road look terribly inferior.

“Our mayor, JoAnn Seghini, has made this section of the road (6400 South to 9000 South) a major priority and will not be satisfied until it is fully funded and completed,” Loader said.

The $27 million bridge project was funded by UTA, UDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. For the remaining road improvements, about $8 million has been gathered, with the help of former State Senator Carlene Walker, other legislators, UDOT officials and members of the Transportation Commission, he added. “This equates to about 15 percent of the total needed to complete this project, so we have a long way to go.”

Once the road improvements occur, the entire Midvale State Street corridor can be developed, said Christopher Butte, Midvale’s director of economic development. “Delays to improve State Street have economically impacted Midvale and all of those property owners along State Street, who are in limbo wondering when and if those improvements will be made.” Original Article


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