OGDEN — The sesquicentennial of the driving of the Golden Spike will be celebrated in May and when the expected horde of tourists converge on Ogden, they’ll have some help finding their way around town.
The Ogden City Council recently approved a resolution that allows for a portion of the city’s still in-flux Transportation Master Plan to be expedited so nearly 100 new wayfinding signs can be installed throughout the city.
The project, which was identified in the city’s 2016 rebranding and marketing campaign, will feature new, decorative signs that will help guide visitors and residents to retail establishments, pedestrian and bicycle access routes, historic city landmarks, parking and other common destinations.
Ogden City engineer Justin Anderson said the city’s engineering, planning and marketing departments, the Ogden/Weber Convention & Visitors Bureau, Weber County and a consultant all worked together to determine locations for the signs. Anderson said 42 signs will be placed along Utah Department of Transportation roadways with 18 planned for Ogden-owned roads. The project also includes 16 parking locators and 13 informational kiosks that are mainly designed to assist pedestrians.
Anderson said the group scouted hundreds of locations, with those making the final cut working in connection with each other.
“That’s been a long process, going through and making sure they all integrate,” he said.
The majority of the signs in this first phase are tied to prominent locations downtown: Historic 25th Street, The Junction, the Ogden Amphitheater, Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Lindquist Field and others.
“The density of the public interest is the downtown,” Anderson said.
The wayfinding project is included in the city’s $350,000 transportation plan, which is being finalized and has not yet been approved by the council. Anderson said in order to install the first wave of signs in time for 150th anniversary celebrations tied to the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the signs must be ordered this week.
The council’s resolution acts as the approval for the wayfinding element of the plan, before the final transportation plan is finished and approved.
On May 10, 1869, the ceremonial last Golden Spike was driven at Promontory Summit in Box Elder County, connecting the rail lines of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific to make history’s first transcontinental line. The line connected the Pacific Coast at San Francisco Bay with the existing Eastern U.S. railway and revolutionized the American West with a dependable transportation system.
The railroad played a major role in the history of Northern Utah, specifically Ogden. Several events will occur this May as part of Utah’s Spike 150 celebration.
Anderson said the plan is to have all of the wayfinding signs installed before May.