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S.J.R. 12





Sponsor: Fred J. Fife

             5      Mike DmitrichKaren HalePaula F. Julander              6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This joint resolution of the Legislature urges Congress to fund the reconfiguration of
             10      the Grant Tower railroad curves.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This resolution:
             13          .    urges that the United States Congress and Utah's congressional delegation pass
             14      funding of the reconfiguration of the Grant Tower railroad curves.
             15      Special Clauses:
             16          None
             18      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             19          WHEREAS, the Grant Tower railroad curves are located between the intersections of
             20      North Temple, 500 West, 100 South Street, and 700 West in downtown Salt Lake City;
             21          WHEREAS, it is through these curves that interstate freight trains make the directional
             22      change from southbound to westbound, or from eastbound to northbound;
             23          WHEREAS, Union Pacific runs more than 40 trains each day through the area and has
             24      noted that the curves cause significant congestion throughout the rail system;
             25          WHEREAS, the curves are so tight that trains must slow to 5-10 miles per hour,
             26      requiring longer trains to take 40 minutes to move through the downtown area;
             27          WHEREAS, due to increased congestion caused by the tight curves, the 900 South line

             28      was reopened to allow Union Pacific to divert trains that come from the south around Grant
             29      Tower, leaving that area available for the trains coming from the west coast or Ogden;
             30          WHEREAS, the only way for Union Pacific to increase its capacity through Grant
             31      Tower is to straighten the curved tracks to move trains through the area more quickly;
             32          WHEREAS, reconfiguring the Grant Tower rail curves will be complex and expensive,
             33      with rough estimates suggesting that the project will cost $30 to $40 million to complete;
             34          WHEREAS, the reconfiguration of the Grant Tower rail curves will provide substantial
             35      local and regional benefits, including the removal of the 900 South line, faster clearing of city
             36      street crossings, reduced rail congestion throughout the metropolitan area, and increased public
             37      safety through the elimination of at least 11 public roadway grade crossings;
             38          WHEREAS, removal of the 900 South line and donation of the property by Union
             39      Pacific to the community, which will enable the creation of a public park by Salt Lake City,
             40      will improve the quality of life in an ethnically diverse, low-income neighborhood;
             41          WHEREAS, the Grant Tower rail curves project will improve traffic flow on city
             42      streets that must cross Union Pacific's tracks, with faster trains clearing the crossings more
             43      quickly;
             44          WHEREAS, allowing trains to move more quickly through the city will improve the
             45      efficiency of the freight rail network, improving air quality and delivery time for local shipping
             46      customers;
             47          WHEREAS, allowing congestion in the Grant Tower area to continue may cause more
             48      freight to be carried by truck rather than train, inflicting a substantial burden on Utah's
             49      roadways and increasing shipping costs for numerous Utah businesses;
             50          WHEREAS, Salt Lake City, Union Pacific, and the Utah Department of Transportation
             51      studied the project in the late 1990's in conjunction with the development of the Gateway
             52      project and the consolidation of railroad tracks in the downtown area;
             53          WHEREAS, Salt Lake City has recently reached an agreement with Union Pacific to
             54      eliminate rail traffic on the 900 South rail line if the city, with the support of Union Pacific, is
             55      able to secure funds for the Grant Tower reconfiguration;
             56          WHEREAS, Salt Lake City is seeking $5 million for the Grant Tower reconfiguration
             57      project in the fiscal year 2006 United States Department of Transportation Appropriations bill
             58      to conduct final engineering and to begin property acquisition;

             59          WHEREAS, Union Pacific supports Salt Lake City's request for federal funds;
             60          WHEREAS, Union Pacific has committed $4.5 million in labor and materials toward
             61      the project;
             62          WHEREAS, additional funds to complete the project will be requested in subsequent
             63      years; and
             64          WHEREAS, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Wasatch Regional Council
             65      support the project:
             66          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
             67      urges the United States Congress and the members of Utah's congressional delegation to
             68      strongly support funding for the reconfiguration of the Grant Tower curves, including $5
             69      million for the project in either the fiscal year 2006 United States Department of Transportation
             70      Appropriations bill or the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
             71      (TEA-21).
             72          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature urges Congress to make subsequent
             73      appropriations so that the Grant Tower curve reconfiguration project, which will create
             74      numerous public benefits, including the permanent removal of trains from the 900 South rail
             75      line, can be completed as quickly as possible.
             76          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Senate
             77      Majority leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of
             78      Representatives, Union Pacific, and the members of Utah's congressional delegation.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-18-05 10:35 AM

Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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