UTA is gearing up for a busy summer of infrastructure maintenance. This work helps ensure that UTA’s rail system remains in top condition. It also helps avoid unexpected issues, which can interrupt service and create delays. UTA employees spend months or even years planning these projects and looking for ways to minimize the impact on riders.
Three types of major maintenance projects are scheduled for this summer. The first will be a project to repair the curved sections of TRAX track at 700 South in Salt Lake City. The curves tend to wear faster than straight areas of rail. During the repair process, TRAX service will be limited and a bus bridge will used to transport passengers around the construction area. Work is expected to start Memorial Day weekend and continue for several weekends. Check back here, and on Facebook and Twitter for details as the project approaches.
UTA will also repair grade crossings at Fireclay Avenue, 4500 South, 8600 South, 8720 South, 8800 South and 9800 South this summer. A grade crossing is the section of track crossed by a road. These areas wear out more quickly due to cars and trucks passing over them. Delays are possible – follow us on social media for details.
Finally, we’re also replacing existing gray tiles with textured yellow safety tile at Fashion Place West, Historic Sandy, Sandy Expo, Central Pointe and Sandy Civic platforms. This work typically doesn’t require a station closure, but passengers may need to board or exit the train at a different spot. Follow us on social media for details, and look for platform signs to direct you to the appropriate boarding/exiting areas.
Working for You
Planning for major maintenance projects starts five to 10 years in advance, and projects are approved annually by the UTA executive team and board of trustees.
“We’re currently looking into the 2020’s,” UTA Manager of Right of Way Assets Dave Filby said.
UTA service planners create a detailed calendar of large community events like summer festivals, parades and conventions. Major construction projects are scheduled to avoid these busy days when more riders are expected to use the system.
As much work as possible is completed off-site to minimize impacts to riders. For example, Filby said, contractors are already welding sections of rail to speed work on the 700 South track replacement project.
This preparation can mean shorter service interruptions. Last weekend, contractors worked late into the night to set up lights and other equipment for a TRAX bridge repair project. Work was completed a full day earlier than expected, resulting in a single day of minimal Blue Line delays instead of two.
Keeping the System in Good Repair
Riders can expect maintenance projects every summer, as UTA works to keep the nearly 20-year-old TRAX system and nearly 10-year-old FrontRunner system operating at peak efficiency.
“It’s a good thing,” UTA Rail Service Operations Senior Planner Dave Steadman said. “It means we’re taking care of our system to avoid issues or problems.”
Photo courtesy of Stacy and Witbeck, Inc.