Utah Transit Authority Program Management

Design, construction and operation of 181 miles of light and commuter rail to better serve Utah’s growing population


  • Utah, USA



Project Status


Preparing for Greater Demand for Public Transport

Utah’s population is expected to increase by an estimated 1 million by 2030, and most of these new residents will be living along the already crowded Wasatch Front. This situation means more travel demand and increased traffic congestion.

In 2004, local officials along the Wasatch Front suggested accelerating UTA’s 2030 Long-Range Transportation Plan. This approach was presented to voters in Salt Lake and Utah counties and, in 2006, voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax increase to finance the design, construction and operation of 70 miles of light and commuter rail.

Because of the amount of work and the limited time frame, UTA needed additional management assistance for environmental, planning, design and construction work.

Key Numbers

Commuter Rail
89 miles 89 miles
Light Rail
45 miles 45 miles
2 miles 2 miles

Comprehensive Engineering and Program Management Services

WSP USA provided program management services. Our responsibilities included directing each design team and maintaining overall efficiency and productivity. This is the first time UTA has engaged a consultant to provide these services for multiple simultaneous projects.

We supported UTA with concept planning; program management and administration; contract document preparation; project engineering; commuter rail and light rail vehicle procurement and inspection services; construction and safety oversight; communications initiatives; and overall project development in order to procure and manage designers and contractors for the various projects. We also provided ongoing risk analysis, developed an integrated project control system with a risk management component.

We also:

  • Developed an integrated control system for project scheduling, cost, document control, budgets and scopes, and risk tracking, and provided scheduling and program experts to integrate different functions into the project control tools
  • Provided New Starts experts to advise UTA on how to advance the FTA New Starts process
  • Provided and managed technical resources for the project
  • Organized value engineering teams and provided value engineering reviews
  • Inspected and commissioned mid-life rehabilitation for 29 LRT vehicles

Overall, our team delivered the following:

  • Program management
  • Concept planning
  • Contract document preparation
  • Project engineering
  • Rail vehicle procurement and inspection services
  • Construction and safety oversight
  • Communications initiatives and management support
  • Risk analysis
  • Developed an integrated project control system for project scheduling, cost, document control, budgets and scopes, and risk tracking
  • Provided FTA New Starts process advisory services

Delivering More Mobility to the Community

To date, UTA FrontLines 2015 program and its successor program currently under development, include 89 miles of commuter rail between Ogden and Provo; 45 miles of light rail over four lines; more than 2 miles of streetcar; and more than 19 miles and two lines of bus rapid transit. All projects have been completed ahead of schedule and under budget.