Is an underground tunnel in Salt Lake City’s future?

May 30, 2024, 5:00 PM

Downtown Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Valley are pictured on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Plans for ...

Downtown Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Valley are pictured on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Plans for Salt Lake City's underground tunnel are being made.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Smith Entertainment Group shared its vision for a more walkable future for downtown Salt Lake City with an underground tunnel. 

Earlier this month the group pitched its idea to state lawmakers for funding consideration. Its vision includes a long pedestrian promenade leading to the front doors of the Delta Center and a six-lane road, submerged underground. 

Renderings showed 300 West between North Temple and 100 South as a tunnel with a promenade built on top. 

Jon Larsen, Salt Lake City’s transportation director said the UDOT road is wide and intimidating for cyclists and pedestrians.

“It’s a little bit stressful to cross a big wide street like that whether you’re 90 or 7 years old to be able to just seamlessly cross the pedestrian plaza,” he said. 

While pedestrian experience would be a plus, there are still many other things to consider with this idea: utility issues, the TRAX line and groundwater being most prominent.

Moving everything underground is estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Larson says building a bridge might work and be less expensive but poses other potential problems.

 While follow up discussions have still yet to happen, both UDOT and Salt Lake City supports the idea to make the area more walkable. 


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Is an underground tunnel in Salt Lake City’s future?