Utah roads focus of $1.5 billion funding deal
April 8, 2021
Utah roads will receive a chunk of a $1.5 billion surplus in the state’s budget.
Gov. Spencer Cox has signed into law a bill to use most of the one-time funding to help complete transportation work. Specifically, about $1.1 billion will be applied for road, transit and other transportation-related projects.
Previously HB433, the new law appropriates $870 million in one-time money for transportation work. Instead of being sent to the state’s general fund, the money will go to the Department of Transportation for the 2022 fiscal year.
Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, said the new law focuses largely on road work.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend the one-time money than on infrastructure,” Schultz said in prior remarks.
The bulk of the money – $705 million – will be applied for state highway projects specified in the bill. Another $28 million will be used for local road work.
About $100 million in one-time money will be directed to UDOT for transit-related projects. Much of the money will be allotted for a project to double track a portion of the 88-mile FrontRunner commuter rail system.
Plans are to double-track about 20 miles of the rail system between Ogden and Provo.
Doubling tracking portions of the rail system is intended to help reduce congestion along the Interstate 15 corridor.
The state’s Transportation Commission is also authorized to borrow up to $264 million for transit-related projects. General obligation bonds will be tapped to help get work underway.
In addition to the $100 million boost, the FrontRunner project will benefit from $200 million in bonds. LL