Salt Lake Airport Board likes street-level TRAX plan to save $50M-plus

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Airport Advisory Board Chair J.T. Martin speaks during a meeting at the Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday, September 20, 2017.

Airport engineering director Kevin Robins said that elevator/escalator ride — which sometimes is cumbersome with luggage — “is really the only difference” in experience between the more expensive option where an elevated track would deliver passengers into a parking garage at the same level as new ticket counters.

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kevin Robins, Director of Engineering, SLCDA, speaks during a meeting at the Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
(Courtesy of Salt Lake City International Airport) An aerial view of the planned rebuild at Salt Lake City International Airport. The current airport light-rail stop can be seen at the southern tip of the existing airport (the white crescent-shaped buildings), and a new proposal would simply have the train turn left (west) and stop 150 feet short of the new terminal, on the building’s east side. The width of the train line would push a neighboring loading road about 25 feet farther north, leading to a tighter entry and exit for planes at gates northeast of the new terminal building. In light gray, this map shows the light-rail proposal favored until recently by city and transit planners: an elevated track that veers west across airport access roads to the southeast of the parking area and then again westward into the "Gateway Center," represented here as a large blue rectangle north of the parking garage. Passengers would be able to check in and check their bags at the center before walking across a skybridge into the terminal.

However, Robins said engineers now believe sections of new track could be constructed in such a way that the rail line would open at the same time as the new terminal, and require suspension of service for no more than a handful of days — about the same time disruption as the more expensive elevated-track option.

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Airport Advisory Board member Igor Best-Devereux speaks during a meeting at the Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday, September 20, 2017.

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