Rob Brems | Guest Writer
Great things happen when people work together. Too often, we don’t hear about the good things accomplished by our local, state and federal governments. The August 21, 2021 opening of the new pedestrian bridge crossing State Route 92 (aka Timpanogos Highway) is a collaboration success story that ought to be told.
I’ve shared my excitement this past year for the completion of this next link in Lehi’s beautiful and growing pedestrian/bike trails system. I was privileged to join about a hundred people gathered at the south end of the beautiful new bridge to hear state and local dignitaries speak. I also got to observe Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson and a group of cyclists break through a paper banner, officially opening the new bridge to the public.
“The project is a team effort of several agencies,” said Rob Clayton, Region 3 Director with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). “It improves our quality of life and gives people additional choices in how they get around.” Jeff Acerson, a Utah Transit Authority (UTA) trustee, said their agency partnered with Lehi City, UDOT, MountainlandAssociation of Governments (MAG) and the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to obtain a $20 million TIGER grant. $6.3M of that grant funded the new bridge (in case you’re wondering, TIGER stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery.)
We should all be grateful that good folks got together and turned this dream into a reality. With the opening, Lehi City became “the owner” and will oversee and maintain the new bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists on the Murdock Canal Trail can now easily access the Historic Utah Southern Rail Trail southeast towards Lehi State Street, or safely cross Timpanogos Highway going northwest through Traverse Mountain and around the Point of the Mountain to Draper and Sandy. Go under the new bridge on the Murdock Canal Trail and you’ll easily and safely access the Provo River Trail to the southeast, or the Jordan River Parkway Trail to the west.
In visiting with Mayor Johnson, he indicated that another Southern Rail Trail bridge across Triumph Boulevard is now built and awaiting the completion of concrete abutments on each side of the road. Once they’re complete, the new bridge will be set in place. Following today’s ribbon cutting I rode to the site of that new bridge and watched as workers prepared forms for the abutments. While the Mayor (also an avid cyclist) didn’t know the exact timeframe for completion of that bridge, he did say, “It would be soon!” The price tag for that bridge is about a half-million dollars. According to the Mayor, there are possibilities in the works for private funds to perhaps completely offset those costs. Another great collaboration story in the works.
Next time you walk, cycle or drive under, or walk or cycle over our new bridge (sorry, no cars or trucks on this bridge) remember that it came about because good people came together to improve our community. Well done, we’re certainly better and more safely connected!