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South Salt Lake City and the Sugar House Business District are soon to be much closer with the installation of a streetcar connecting the two. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood came to town to participate in the ground breaking on the two-mile streetcar line. The new streetcar has been in planning stages since 2006 and is expected to begin operating in 2013.
“This corridor will become an economic corridor for small businesses, for jobs, for opportunities, for the blossoming all along the corridor. If you build it, they will come. You watch what happens along this corridor,” said Secretary LaHood. “Once this rail line is here you are going to see all kinds of opportunities that no one has dreamed of.”
Approximately 700 construction-related jobs and more than 7,500 new permanent jobs are expected to be created by 2030, according to the Utah Transit Authority. The project is also expected to generate more than $1 billion in new business development along the line.
The total cost of the project is $55.5 million, which includes the value of land and vehicles already purchased by UTA. Construction costs are $37.18 million and are being funded by a $26 million federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II grant and $11.18 million in local funds provided by Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake City and the Utah Transit Authority.
The Sugar House Streetcar will provide residents of South Salt Lake City with a direct connection to the North-South TRAX line at the Central Pointe Station, allowing them access to 130 miles of passenger rail across the Wasatch Front.
“This is a smart investment that will make a real difference in the lives of Salt Lake City area residents,” Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff said. “Over the next 20 years, this federal investment in the Sugar House Streetcar project is anticipated to save more than one million gallons of fuel and reduce carbon emissions by 26,000 tons. That’s a win-win situation for area residents and for our energy future.”