OGDEN -- Reaching Ogden's vast trail system from the Utah Transit Authority's FrontRunner commuter rail will soon become easier, requiring fewer encounters with moving traffic.
Later this spring, Ogden city will begin construction on a trail that will connect Ogden's Intermodal Transit Hub on Wall Avenue to the Ogden River Parkway trail, just east of Goode Ski Lake.
The trail will run north from the FrontRunner parking lot to 22nd Street, then west to Pacific Avenue, then, following Pacific, it will continue to run north until it connects to the River Parkway trail.
"People will be able to travel from FrontRunner to the parkway trail without encountering any traffic," said Perry Huffaker, public ways and parks manager for Ogden. "Then they'll be able to connect to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and the rest of our expansive trail system. It's a great connection, and we've needed it for quite some time."
The trail will also provide quicker access to Business Depot Ogden for pedestrians and bikers using FrontRunner, again with much less moving traffic.
The city council voted earlier this week to add the project to the city's Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2013-2017.
Huffaker said the city first received an $83,000 RAMP grant for the project in 2009, but much of the past few years have been spent working with UTA, UDOT and Union Pacific to develop a plan to complete the project. Huffaker said that because the trail is in close proximity to corridors owned by those three agencies, the project was subject to intense scrutiny and ultimately required approval from all of them.
The RAMP funding for the project will expire Dec. 31, 2013.
Ogden resident Raul Mendoza walked along the parkway trail near Slackwater Pizza on Wednesday and said he likes the idea of being able to walk to FrontRunner without facing any vehicular traffic.
"I think in the future we will start to use our cars a lot less, and I think that will ultimately be a good thing," he said. "This is probably a big step in that direction. I think if you give people real, solid reasons to leave their cars behind, they'll do it."
Huffaker said construction on the trail will begin as soon as possible, and the city hopes to have it completed and open for use as early as midsummer.