OGDEN -- Good news for Top of Utah trail goers: now you won't be breaking the rules when you use the new FrontRunner connector trail in Ogden.
During a small ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning, the city officially opened a new trail that allows cyclists and pedestrians to access the Ogden River Parkway from FrontRunner without encountering any vehicular traffic .
The trail connects Ogden's Intermodal Transit Hub on Wall Avenue t o the parkway, just east of Goode Ski Lake , near 21st Street. Once users reach the parkway, they have unfettered access to the rest of Ogden's trail system .
The trail runs north from the FrontRunner parking lot to 22nd Street, then west to Pacific Avenue, then, following Pacific, it continues north until it connects to the parkway trail .
"It's pretty unique to be able to get off of the train in this urbanized environment and then within minutes be able to access a world-class trail system," said Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell. "And you can do it without having to work your way through any traffic . "
Construction on the trail began last spring and the corridor has been paved for months, but technically it wasn't open to the public, although people were using it anyway.
Perry Huffaker, Ogden's Public Ways and Parks manager, said that while the trail was paved, some important finishing touches -- namely a safety fence separating pedestrians from a set of train tracks -- had to be finished.
"Now we want people to get out here and take advantage of it," Caldwell said Thursday .
The mayor said the city hopes the trail will entice people south of Ogden to come to see all that the city has to offer.
"We hope new people will come to Ogden and check out some our restaurants and businesses," he said.
The city council voted earlier this year to add the project to the city's Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2013-2017.
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 the Utah Transit Authority, the Utah Department of Transportation and Union Pacific to develop a plan to complete the project.
Because the trail is in close proximity to corridors owned by those three entities, the project was subject to intense scrutiny and ultimately required approval from all of them.
RAMP funds come from a tax approved by Weber County voters in 2004 that allows the county to impose a local sales tax of one-tenth of 1 percent, which is 1 cent on a $10 sale, to improve recreation, arts, museums and parks.
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.