September 25, 2022
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The new Porter Rockwell Bridge (seen above) recently completed by the Utah Department of Transportation offers not only safer and more efficient travel for motorists; it offers new transportation options for pedestrians and bicyclists as well.

[Above photo by the Utah DOT]

The new bridge – 435 feet in length and 65 feet high, making it one of the longest and tallest bridges of its kind in the state – spans the Jordan River and the Utah Transit Authority and Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Beneath the new bridge, pedestrians and bicyclists can safely access the Jordan River Parkway Trail from Porter Rockwell Boulevard traveling a 10-foot path along the north side, which will provide the first east-west connection for pedestrians and bicyclists south of 12300 South.

“With this project, we’ve built a new connection in our transportation system that can be used by anyone – whether they’re walking, riding a bike, or in a car,” noted Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah DOT, in a statement.

“This will help people in southern Salt Lake or northern Utah County travel where they want, when they want, and how they want,” he said.

[Editor’s note: In the Transportation TV video below, Braceras discusses how his agency is meeting the enormous transportation demands of Utah’s fast-growing population.]

The construction of the new pedestrian/bike trail as part of the Portwell Rockwell Bridge project also reflects Utah DOT’s increased focus on active transportation needs across the state.

For example, a team of Utah State University researchers recently explored how to use Utah’s network of historic canal trails as an active transportation solution. That study is poised to help the Utah DOT as well as community leaders make decisions about building canal paths and trails, USU detailed in a blog post.

Utah DOT noted that the Porter Rockwell Bridge is the final phase of this effort by the agency and the City of Bluffdale to construct a new east-west route to connect I-15, Mountain View Corridor, and Redwood Road at the far southern end of Salt Lake County.

“[Our] motto is ‘Life Connected’ and that is what this bridge will do for us,” noted Bluffdale Mayor Natalie Hal. “It will finally connect our east and west side. It will connect businesses. It will connect neighbors and students going to school. This bridge is historical for our city and will bring great economic opportunity as well.”

editor@aashto.org

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