After several months of preparation and build out, the much desired pedestrian bridge spanning Interstate 15 in Lehi will open Saturday.
Utah Transit Authority in conjunction with the Utah Department of Transportation have been working in earnest since early spring to get the bridge completed.
The $6.3 million pedestrian and bicycle bridge was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Discretionary Grant funds, previously known as TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery).
It is a portion of a $20 million TIGER grant awarded to Utah from the Transportation Department for infrastructure work and projects like the bridge.
The bridge crosses at the Timpanogos Highway just west of Triumph Boulevard. A McDonald’s restaurant sits at the bottom of the west side, according to George Angerbauer, UTA public relations marketing strategist.
Rather than cut a ribbon for the opening, Angerbauer said UTA is opting to have a group of local cyclists break through a large banner to open the bridge.
The bridge is meant to be the first and last mile connection to trails and transportation allowing for more walkability, Angerbauer noted.
“This is the most exciting part of the project,” Angerbauer said. He also pointed to the number of sidewalks, bike lanes and walkways that will be funded by TIGER and the upgrades for the future.
“It provides a critical link between the Salt Lake and Utah counties,” said Carl Arky, UTA spokesman. “It connects the Murdock Canal trail and Historic Utah Southern Rail trails to the Point of the Mountain trail, Lehi City trails and the Jordan River Parkway trail.”
Dignitaries on hand to open the bridge will include Lindon Mayor Jeff Acerson, who also sits on the UTA board, Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson and Rob Clayton, UDOT Region 3 director.
The most recent pedestrian bridge of this kind in Utah County was the buildout connecting the UTA intermodal hub and FrontRunner station with Utah Valley University. That bridge also spans I-15.
“The Timpanogos Highway has been hoped for for years. It’s an important link,” Arky said.
The public is invited to take a walk or bike ride across the bridge and discover the connectivity it provides.