Ogden businesses affected by BRT construction welcome reopening of 25th Street | News, Sports, Employment

Deborah Wilber, Standard Examiner

The newly renovated 25th Street in front of The Monarch in Ogden is shown on Monday, June 13, 2022.

OGDEN — Historic 25th Street has opened to traffic and on-street parking between Adams and Jefferson avenues. The Utah Transit Authority announced the opening Saturday morning, and businesses along the corridor couldn’t be happier.

“I think Ogden should have a celebration,” said John Thompson, co-owner and operator of Thai Curry Kitchen, located at 582 25th St. According to Thompson, the restaurant’s hours have had to be changed in part because of the nearly eight-month road trip. construction, linked to the works of the future bus rapid transit route of the city.

Three of 13 BRT stations being built along the 5.3-mile route, from the Ogden FrontRunner station downtown to Weber State University and McKay Hospital -Dee, they are on 25th Street.

Construction of the transit project required the excavation of power and internet lines for the stations. According to UTA public relations specialist James Larson, the city chose to replace the existing electric, sewer and water lines on 25th Street from Washington Boulevard to Jefferson while it was excavated.

Despite supply shortages and an uncovered rail track belonging to the historic Ogden Rapid Transit streetcar between 24th and 25th streets, Larsen said things are on schedule with a late 2023 completion date.

Washington to Adams was the first section of 25th Street to be paved and ready for traffic, which was good news for The Monarch.

Vegan cafe Cuppa and The Lotus Cafe, however, were among other area businesses that had to wait until Saturday for unrestricted access from Adams to Jefferson.

Cuppa manager Sarah Adams said they had to buy a cart to transport groceries to the cafe due to a lack of parking nearby.

Construction of the BRT line through the heart of the city has created many detours, lane changes and road closures, including the long-term closure of 25th Street between Washington and Jefferson, which began on January 3rd.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Larson said of the open, unrestricted 25th Street.

According to Larsen, UTA tried to help businesses along the corridor during the road closure by generating $10,000 in vouchers.

Working with UTA and the city was good at first, said Thompson, who said the entities kept coming up with excuses for the extended construction.

The 500 block of 25th Street was scheduled to be completed in June; however, strict daily concrete delivery delayed UTA’s efforts. With most of the work, including sidewalks, curbs and gutters, now complete from Washington to Monroe, other stations are being built.

Access to McKay-Dee Hospital will be restricted off Harrison Boulevard as crews have begun removing the driveway leading to the main entrance, which is scheduled to be repaved Thursday.

Drivers can also expect to encounter road restrictions on 23rd Street between Grant and Lincoln as crews install utility lines for the BRT station coming to The Junction. Construction on the stations, one northbound and one southbound, will not begin until after the early spring holiday season.

Larson said UTA wants to work with businesses during their peak periods.

A ceremony celebrating the first Ogden Express clean air electric buses, OGX for short, in operation at the Browning Center on Weber State’s campus at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The entire BRT system is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

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