Incomplete Fence Safety Risk Along Section of FrontRunner
Salt Lake City closed a portion of 100 South at 700 West where it crossed the Union Pacific tracks, done through an action by the Salt Lake City Council prior to the construction of the northbound phase of FrontRunner. It was a decision to either close it to traffic completely or to install control gates and lights at significant expense and the city chose the latter.
In closing the road it necessitated building a wrap around road to divert Westbound traffic on 100 South back to 600 West, at approximately 50 South. The road was built at the expense of UTA with funds allocated for that purpose during the track realignment. 700 West now simply dead ends at 100 South with room for traffic other than a semi truck to make a u-turn and to return back to 200 South.
It was brought to this writer’s attention that the standard chain-link fence that was constructed along the entire northern phase of FrontRunner was for some reason not built along this section of track and roadway. This missing section of fence posed a significant safety hazard for pedestrians who may have not been aware that high speed trains use this section of railway and I personally witnessed an intoxicated individual who had passed out within mere feet of the trackway.
In contacting UTA, spokesperson Jerry Carpenter told me that the section was not installed prior to the inaugurational run of FrontRunner at the request of Salt Lake City. At the time of the writing of this article we have not heard back from the Salt Lake City Transportation Division about this request.
The section of chain link fence that was not completed is at this time, according to UTA scheduled to be completed the week of August 10th, 2009.