June 7, 2022
North Temple community members and officials from Salt Lake City and Utah Transit Authority (UTA) celebrated the opening of the first phase of the Folsom Trail by gathering to tour the new paved, walking and bicycling path. The mile-long, east-west trail spans from 1000 West at Folsom Avenue (about 40 South) to the North Temple Bridge/Guadalupe TRAX and FrontRunner station. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, City Council members, UTA leadership, and community members applaud it as a vital connection – both between Salt Lake City’s westside and west Downtown neighborhoods, and to transit across the Wasatch Front.
The groundwork for the project began in 2008 with Union Pacific’s realignment of two west side railroad corridors to reduce disruption and open up public space for community uses. When this happened, 1.5 miles of track from 700 West to the Jordan River were abandoned.
“Upon the realignment of the rail lines, Salt Lake City jumped at the chance to improve the quality of this public land and our stormwater infrastructure, and turn it into something that could serve the community,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “Through this partnership with UTA, we were able to infuse a variety of public benefits into the corridor – increased access to transportation, open and green space, and a safe place to exercise and be outside.”
The $3.5 million project was funded by part of a $20 million grant awarded to UTA from the U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program (previously known as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, or TIGER), and additional funds from Salt Lake City’s parks impact fees, transportation sales tax, and its Redevelopment Agency (RDA).
“Folsom Trail allows for more active transportation choices,“ stated Carlton Christensen, Chairman of the UTA Board of Trustees. “This 10-foot wide path was designed for people of all ages and abilities for anything from a recreational walk or bike ride within the neighborhood to a connection to TRAX, FrontRunner, and access to all of UTA’s service area.”
On Folsom Avenue, a variety of small businesses front the corridor, allowing people using the trail access to those services and amenities, some of which include a food supplier, sports equipment manufacturer, and an auto repair garage. The employees of and visitors to these businesses will now have access to a safe and comfortable place to walk, and further add to the corridor’s and the neighborhood’s vitality.
Additional lighting, decorative elements, and landscaping will soon be added to the corridor, and an extension of the trail between 1000 West and the Jordan River is being assessed. The RDA is in the process of identifying development projects near the Folsom Corridor that will encourage economic growth and contribute to an active, people-focused space. They have also partnered with local non-profit Seven Canyons Trust to craft a design for potentially bringing portions of City Creek to the surface.
A map and more information about the Folsom Trail Project are available here: www.slc.gov/transportation/folsom-trail.