National On-Line Publication Features Utah’s Unified Plan

TI News Daily, a publication covering federal, state and local transportation policy and projects, features Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan in a recent article.

An excerpt:

Utah has created a unique and unified transportation plan that identified $54 billion in road, bridge, and infrastructure investments needed over 30 years, said Andrew Gruber, executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC).

“All transportation organizations in the state, along with the state’s department of transportation and transit agencies have come together to identify needs for investment and the timing of those investments and integrated it into a holistic plan that ignores boundaries,” Gruber said.

To the best of his knowledge, Gruber said Utah is the only state in the nation with this type of unified plan.

The WFRC is responsible for coordinating the transportation planning process in the Salt Lake and Ogden/Layton urbanized areas as the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). These MPOs are agencies responsible for transportation planning in urbanized areas throughout the United States.

Transportation, Gruber said, cuts across city, county and planning boundaries. The group has looked at the state’s entire transportation needs, including those who may commute by bike or walking.

“We’ve also looked at our transportation capacity. We need to give our growing population room and just as importantly, we have to keep our existing infrastructure in good repair.”

Gruber said Utah is one of the fastest growing states in the nation. He attributes the growth to residents having large families and an influx of new residents who wish to take advantage of Utah’s healthy economy.

But all of that planning comes at a price.

Utah’s transportation plan identifies $54 billion of priority investments needed over the next 30 years, Gruber said. “That’s not every investment but the highest priority in state and local roads and rapid transportation,” he said.

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