CLEARFIELD -- A sizeable portion of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Rail Trail will be closed for nearly 1 1/2 years as the Utah Department of Transportation begins work on a large road project in Clearfield.
The state will close the D&RGW trail between 200 South and 700 South due to excavation work associated with a massive reconstruction of State Route 193 through Clearfield.
SR-193 will be extended from State Street on 700 South in Clearfield, then around the Freeport Center to 200 South, and then west to 2000 West in Syracuse. Minor prep work has been ongoing for several months, but work will pick up over the next few weeks as winter gives way to spring.
UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said the trail closure begins today and will likely remain in place until the summer of 2014.
"We're sorry we have to close this trail, but there's no way we could possibly keep it open during construction -- it's just not safe," Saunders said. "We'll open it up again when the project is over, so if we finish before the summer of 2014, we'll open it sooner."
The Utah Transit Authority owns the trail, having gained property rights to the rail corridor in September 2002.
The trail runs from 400 North in West Bountiful to about Hinckley Drive in the Roy/West Haven area, right along the D&RGW corridor, just west of the active Union Pacific rail line.
The entire trail, which spans about 25 miles, is paved with asphalt. Individual cities along the trail corridor are responsible for any maintenance required.
UTA holds the right to use the corridor for any commuter rail related purpose if there is ever a need for it.
A popular route for walkers and cyclists, the D&RGW trail connects to other trails in the Top of Utah, like the 14-mile Legacy Parkway trail and the Jordan River Parkway trail.
Saunders said there will be no state approved detours during the trail's closure. Those who use the trail should be aware of the closed stretch and plan ahead to either navigate around the closure, or to end their journey where the closures began.
"(Trail users) are pretty much going to be on their own when it comes to how they get through the closure," Saunders said.