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Funding Gap Closed For Jordan River Trail

Jordan River Commission
Rendering of the new bridge that will close the downtown gap in Jordan River Parkway Trail.

Walkers and bikers who use the Jordan River Parkway Trail will soon be able to travel its entire length uninterrupted by cross streets.

Utah lawmakers chipped in more than $1 million last month to help patch a 3-block gap on the paved path.

Until now, the 45-mile trail was interrupted in downtown Salt Lake City between North Temple and 200 South.

“The trail needs to go over three active freight rail lines and also under a major Rocky Mountain Power transmission corridor,” says Laura Hanson, executive director of the multi-agency Jordan River Commission. “So, the result is a 1,200-foot-long bridge.”

She says those obstacles have made the project complicated. But, thanks to funding from the parks bond four years ago and other sources like the state Legislature, there’s now $6.6 million to complete the recreation path, and the work is expected to be done by next spring.

“We hope that as we keep adding these individual projects that the use an appreciation of the river corridor will only increase,” Hanson says.

Once the trail is connected to other trail networks on its north and south ends, it will stretch 112 miles along the Watch Front.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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