Utahns Will Need Other Modes Of Transportation In Next 35 Years
John Gleason is the public information officer for Utah’s Department of Transportation and said Utah’s roads are not going to be able to keep up with the projected growth over the next 35 years.
“Going forward it’s going to be so important to look at all modes of transportation," Gleason said. "Riding transit, carpooling, walking, just biking - anything that we can do to take vehicles off of our roads and cut down on air pollution and really look at ways that we can sustain ourselves.”
Utah is better off than most other states according to Gleason who said that though Utah, along with other states, has received 33 short-term federal funding solutions since 2008, Congress needs to take action.
“Many of our major new projects, or capacity projects, are all funded through the state funds," Gleason said. "You know we’re very self-sufficient, we’re self-reliant - we take a lot of pride in that. Now that being said, the federal portion of our funding is a very important aspect of our overall budget. It’s critical that at some point in the future here we get a long-term funding solution so that we can make our plans and have some stability.”
Gleason said that approximately 20 percent of Utah's transportation budget comes from federal funding whereas some other states rely on upwards of 50 percent from federal funding.
“Good roads cost less,” is a slogan at UDOT and Gleason said the federal funding they’ve received is used to preserve and rehabilitate the existing roads throughout Utah. UDOT is working with their partners like UTA and Wasatch Front Regional Council to figure out how to develop the roads and entire transportation system to accommodate Utah’s projected growth.