Those looking for easier transportation to the Salt Lake City International Airport can look forward to riding TRAX sooner than originally planned. Utah Transit Authority has announced the new line will open in April 2013.
"Originally the airport TRAX line was scheduled to open by 2015. It was part of a program of five projects that were all slated to be completed by then. So an April 2013 opening is ahead of our commitment to the taxpayer."
UTA Spokesman Gerry Carpenter says those five projects are also coming in under budget. The original price tag for the airport line, as well as the FrontRunner line to Provo and the TRAX extensions to Draper, West Valley and South Jordan was $2.8 billion dollars. Carpenter says that’s been reduced to $2.3 billion, a savings of $500 million.
"Between construction bids coming in at lower than projected due to the recession and lower material costs, it’s really helped us. Also, the fact that contractors have been available and we’ve been able to move the work forward very quickly has helped us incur some savings as well."
Carpenter says the cost of the airport line came in at $350 million, and was funded locally by Salt Lake City, the legislature and sales taxes. Testing for the airport line will begin next week and will take place intermittently into next year. The opening date has been set for April 14, 2013.