The UTA estimated the construction cost at $101 million for the 5.3-mi. transit connection between downtown Ogden and the campuses of Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.
Construction of Ogden's bus rapid transit (BRT) line is finally slated to begin this fall.
The Utah Transit Authority has selected Stacy and Witbeck Inc. as the general contractor. The UTA estimated the construction cost at $101 million for the 5.3-mi. transit connection between downtown Ogden and the campuses of Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.
Stacy and Witbeck Inc., a Calif.-based company, has done civil construction work for close to 40 years since 1981. It has completed 500 major infrastructure projects, according to the company website. This includes corridors, rail extensions, stations, streetcars and viaduct replacement projects in Utah, Calif., Ariz., Wash. And Ore., Miss., Mich., Colo. and Texas. The company also has offices in Portland, Ore. and Salt Lake City.
The project, which has been in planning stages for more than 10 years, was previously valuated at anywhere from $60 to $80 million, now accounts for 10 electric buses and charging infrastructure, 13 stations along the route, road widening, some roadway construction at WSU, right of way purchases and utility locations.
UTA will receive a Federal Transit Administration Small Starts grant that will fund about 64 percent of the total cost of the project. The preliminary cost and construction schedules were required to be submitted before the grant could be awarded.
Service for the BRT line will start at the Ogden UTA transit center at 2350 Wall Ave. and will head east on 23rd street to Washington Boulevard, then will go south along Washington Boulevard to 25th Street, then turn east along 25th Street to Harrison Boulevard and then finally head south to WSU and a planned transit center at the Dee Events Center.
This project has been many years in the making. According to Ogden City Council documents, an Ogden/WSU transit study commenced in November 2004. The first version of the project called for a streetcar system, but officials deemed that option too expensive in 2016.
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said, "This is a huge deal for Ogden. It's going to change the way people move through our community for years to come.
City officials said that construction will begin either in Sept. or Oct. According to BRT project documents, the BRT service is scheduled to be up and running by August 2022.
A local funding match for the project was finalized in August 2018 when Weber County agreed to contribute $5 million and UTA committed $7 million. The Weber Area Council of Governments had previously approved $2.5 million for the transit line, as well as the Wasatch Front Regional ($1.5 million) and the UTA ($1 million).
- Increased Service: A bus every 10-minutes means less time waiting. The Ogden/WSU will provide 16% more service than the existing 603.
- Improved Access to WSU: This project includes a brand new bus-only road which will run right through the center of campus. A BRT station will be located next to the student union.
- Regional Connection: The Ogden/WSU BRT connects major destinations in Ogden to FrontRunner; which brings people to the community from Salt Lake City, Provo, and all points in-between.
- Provides Access to Jobs: This project connects downtown Ogden, Weber State University, and McKay Dee Hospital, which are the top three employment centers in Ogden.
- Addresses the Wasatch Front's Air Quality: Improved transit service from FrontRunner will encourage more people to use transit, limiting the number of cars on the road. This investment will also help make Ogden more pedestrian and bike friendly.
- Helps reduce congestion and parking demand at WSU: As more students, faculty, and staff ride transit to the campus, less parking will be needed. This will enable WSU to redevelop some of its parking areas.
- Promotes Economic Development: Implementing BRT in Ogden has the potential to spur $550M in economic development by 2040 (based on previous research).