UTA opens study on adding FrontRunner station at Ogden's BDO

Thursday , July 14, 2016 - 5:45 AM4 comments

MITCH SHAW, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — It’s been talked about for years, but connecting the FrontRunner rail line to Boyer Business Depot Ogden may be nearing reality — and on a much larger scale than previously discussed.

The Utah Transit Authority recently began a study, titled “The Future of FrontRunner,” that will examine the feasibility of not only a commuter rail stop at the BDO, but an entire FrontRunner station. 

Hal Johnson, project development manager for UTA, said the study will likely be finished by summer 2017. At that time, he said, a more in-depth analysis of the project’s cost and possible construction time frame will be revealed.

“It’s something that’s been on the radar for a while,” Johnson said. “But this will give us a better idea (of the project scope) moving forward.”

Johnson said some initial estimates put the station’s cost near $10 million. A project brief on the Wasatch Front Regional Council’s long-range transportation improvement plan says the station would cost $10.24 million and be built immediately east of Stewart Drive and the Union Pacific rail tracks, from approximately 14th Street to 7th Street.

Ogden City has previously discussed purchasing land in the same general area to preserve space for a FrontRunner stop and a pedestrian bridge that would cross the rail tracks. The proposal for a new station is more ambitious and would function much like existing stations throughout Weber and Davis counties. The WFRC brief says the station would include a park-and-ride lot.

RELATED: Ogden eyes FrontRunner platform in the BDO 

Johnson said the BDO is an ideal candidate for a FrontRunner station.

The depot, formerly known as Defense Depot Ogden, once served as a rail hub for military warehousing and distribution. Today, more than 115 businesses sit within the depot’s 1,118 acres. BDO General Manager Blake Wahlen said nearly 6,000 employees currently work at the BDO.

Wahlen said his organization has discussed the possibility of a FrontRunner station with UTA, but a construction would likely be years out.

“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with UTA, but there haven’t been any final decisions made,” he said. “But we think it would be a great thing for our (BDO) community. We’re very supportive of the idea.”

The transit agency is also working with Weber State University to bring a $3.12 million intermodal hub to the Dee Events Center, which would work in concert with the Bus Rapid Transit Line that will run through the school’s campus and connect to downtown Ogden. 

RELATEDDowntown bike-share program, WSU transit hub tagged for funding

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook.

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