Ogden businessmen affected by the BRT construction are grateful. 25th Street is open again News, Sports, Jobs

Deborah Wilber, Standards-Examiner

The newly rebuilt 25th Street in front of the Monarch in Ogden is pictured Monday, June 13, 2022.

OGDEN – Historic 25th Street between Adams and Jefferson Avenues has been opened to through traffic and curbside parking. The Utah Transit Authority announced the opening Saturday morning, and business along the corridor couldn’t be happier.

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

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

Construction of the transit project requires digging power and internet lines for the stations. According to James Larson, UTA public relations specialist, the city has opted to replace existing electric, sewer and water lines along 25th Street from Washington Boulevard to Jefferson.

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

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

Kappa Vegetarian Cafe and The Lotus Cafe, however, were among other businesses in the area that had to wait until Saturday for unrestricted access from Adams to Jefferson.

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

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

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

UTA tried to help businesses along the corridor during the road closure by generating $10,000 in coupons, according to Larson.

Working with UTA and the city was good at first, said Thompson, who claimed the organizations came up with excuses for the long construction.

The 500 block of 25th Street was scheduled to be completed in June; However, the tight daily allocation of concrete delayed UTA’s efforts. With most of the construction, including sidewalks, curbs and gutters, now complete from Washington to Monroe, construction is underway at other stations.

Access to McKay-Dee Hospital will be restricted from Harrison Boulevard as crews begin removing the road leading to the front entrance, which will be repaired Thursday.

Drivers can expect to experience road restrictions on 23rd Street between Grant and Lincoln as crews install utility lines for the upcoming BRT station at The Junction. Construction of the stations, one northbound and one southbound, won’t begin until after the holiday season in early spring.

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

A ceremony celebrating the first Ogden Express, abbreviated OGX, clean-air electric buses, is being held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Browning Center on Weber State’s campus.

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

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