Thursday PM headlines: New FrontRunner project, more at-home COVID-19 tests available soon
Possible new FrontRunner station in southwest Draper
Demand is growing for a new commuter rail station that would raise service to the Wasatch Front’s growing Point of the Mountain, according to Utah transportation and transit officials. But in order for it to work, this project would require even more double-track railway than is planned.
The Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Transit Authority are both looking into adding this new FrontRunner station in southwest Draper. The project is currently referred to as “The Point” and is happening due to $200 million set aside by Utah lawmakers.
Ben Huot, UDOT’s deputy director, told members of the Utah Legislature Transportation Committee that there would need to be additional double-tracking in order for the train to keep the 15-minute frequency goal.
The project is estimated to cost over $900 million to increase the percentage of double-tracking. Construction is expected to start in 2026 and potentially end in 2029.
More COVID-19 at-home tests available soon
Wednesday, Sept. 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the federal government will relaunch a program to provide free COVID-19 home tests to Americans.
COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen three times in the US since the summer months and more than 20,000 people were admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 during the week ending Sept. 9. Starting Sept. 25, households can order up to four free tests from covidtests.gov.
This program was suspended in May, after the announced end of the pandemic public health emergency. However, the new and available tests are intended to be used through the end of this year and will provide instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates.
The expiration dates printed on most of the home COVID-19 tests have been extended, according to the Health and Human Services.