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Utah sends $95M toward 18 trail projects as it begins ambitious statewide network plan

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Stephanie Tomlin points toward 3900 South as she stands along the Jordan Parkway Trail on a sunny and warm Thursday morning.

This section of the road is where a 1.4-mile “east-west trail” along the road is planned. The idea is that the trail will link West Temple toward the east with the popular Jordan River trail, so users can avoid the busy I-15 freeway interchanges in between.

“This is definitely a keystone project. We want to build more projects like this,” says Tomlin, director of the Utah Department of Transportation’s trails division. “I would say it really gives people an actual transportation option.”

UDOT announced Thursday that the state is directing $10 million of new state funds toward the project’s completion. Construction could begin as early as next year.

The grander vision is to have the trail run “from east to west,” connecting multiple communities by 3900 South/4100 South and public transit stations in the central part of the Salt Lake Valley, she adds.

Its connection along the Jordan River Parkway would then allow users to travel up to Davis County or down to Utah County without leaving the pathway.

A view over 3900 South in Salt Lake County. Utah Department of Transportation officials say a trail along the road will ultimately provide an alternate form of transportation for the communities in the area like South Salt Lake, Millcreek and Taylorsville.
A view over 3900 South in Salt Lake County. Utah Department of Transportation officials say a trail along the road will ultimately provide an alternate form of transportation for the communities in the area like South Salt Lake, Millcreek and Taylorsville. (Photo: Carter Williams,

It’s also one of thirteen “construction-ready” trail projects that received funding through the $95 million that the Utah Legislature approved for a future trail network connecting the state. Utah Transportation Commission officials also directed:

  • $14 million for the Bingham Creek Trail, a 6.3-mile trail that connects the Jordan River Parkway Trail to Bingham Creek Regional Park in Daybreak and the Mountain View Corridor Trail in Salt Lake County.
  • $12.5 million to fill in a 0.7-mile gap on Colorado River Trail along state Route 128 in Moab.
  • $8.8 million for a 3-mile trail extension to connect Moab Canyon Pathway with the planned Utahraptor State Park visitors center.
  • $8.7 million for a new separated crossing for safer crossing of a trail at 2050 North and state Route 108 in Davis County, completing a gap in the trail. The project will also complete connections to the 1800 North Trail and Denver & Rio Grande Trail in the area.
  • $8 million for a 1.8-mile paved trail from the Heber City train depot to 1200 South, and from state Route 113 to the Deer Creek Trail at Soldier Hollow using the existing Heber Valley Railroad alignment.
  • $7 million for a 1.5-mile shared-use path along the Welby Jacobs Canal Trail from 12600 South to 13800 South in Riverton. It would include a separated crossing over 13400 South.
  • $7 million for a 5-mile separated trail from downtown Orderville to Mt. Carmel Junction in Kane County. The project will be a “critical” segment in a network connecting Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks.
  • $5 million for a 2.1-mile trail from I-15 to the Utah Lakeshore Trail in Vineyard.
  • $4.5 million for a new 1.9-mile trail from 500 North to U.S. 40 in Vernal, following sections of the Steinaker Service Canal and 500 North.
  • $4 million for a 1.8-mile trail connecting Ridgeline High School to the Blackhawk Soccer Complex in Cache Valley, following the Blacksmith Fork River. It would also connect to the Logan River Walk trail.
  • $3 million for a 0.8-mile trail between the Bear Lake Marina and Broad Hollow Road in Rich County.
  • $600,000 for a 0.5-mile trail along 1300 West in Bluffdale from a future separated railroad crossing to the nearby Jordan River Parkway Trail.

All 13 projects were selected after an intensive review of over 160 projects brought to UDOT’s attention last year, according to Tomlin.

She explained that UDOT deliberately focused on projects that could fill gaps in existing trails in this initial round of funding. Many were already well planned out and handled difficult barriers like railroad tracks, roadways or bodies of water.

Like the 3900 South project, construction could begin as early as 2025 for the 12 other projects.

“UDOT is excited to come in and provide additional funding to pull them through the finish line and make sure (local communities) have enough funding to make it happen and for them to be built,” Tomlin said, explaining that most projects connect to public transit or important community amenities.

Another $2.1 million was directed toward planning for five projects across the state that would add another 27 miles of trails, UDOT also announced on Thursday. These are projects that are desired but remain far earlier in the design process.

The initial funding is the first step in a lengthy process that will eventually link state regions together. Gov. Spencer Cox and UDOT Director Carlos Braceras announced the ambitious trail network project in 2022, saying they’d like to connect all of the regional trail networks that cities and counties have built over the years.

The Utah Legislature allocated $45 million in one-time funds last year and set up the framework for the program to receive up to $45 million in ongoing funds every year. Designing for larger projects is expected to pick up this year, according to UDOT.

The idea is that it could create another alternative travel route for the growing state, while also adding new recreation opportunities.

“These efforts are bringing people together,” Braceras said in a statement. “We want to do our part by connecting communities through a state-funded program that will build trails as part of the state’s transportation system.”

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