OGX to transform sustainable urban mobility in Ogden, setting nationwide standards
OGDEN, Utah (Aug. 2, 2023) – HNTB Corp. joins Utah Transit Authority in celebrating the completion of the Ogden Express Bus Rapid Transit Project. BRT is a high-capacity transit system that offers swift service by incorporating various features such as dedicated bus lanes, busways, traffic signal priority and off-board fare collection.
HNTB served as the project’s program management partner for UTA’s Capital Development Program, overseeing the construction of the 5.3-mile OGX line. The new route, boasting elevated platforms for level boarding and upgraded stations, will service approximately 4,000 average daily WSU student riders by 2030 on the campus shuttle and approximately 3,700 average daily riders on the rest of the line between Ogden FrontRunner Station through downtown Ogden and Weber State University campus to McKay-Dee Hospital by 2030.
The completion of the OGX line marks a significant advancement in sustainable urban mobility, offering a more efficient transportation route and enhanced connectivity using electric buses. These buses match the speed and capacity of light rail and make a significant contribution to cleaner air, which was an important objective of this project.
“We want to congratulate UTA and the entire team on their forward-thinking work in developing this transformative project,” said Mark Huffer, HNTB’s national BRT leader. “OGX is a great example of how to develop complex infrastructure projects through collaboration between multiple institutions, municipal jurisdictions and the transit agency. This project will set a new standard for BRT and will be widely recognized throughout the country as a premier BRT line. HNTB is incredibly proud to have played a role in the development of OGX.”
As part of its role with program management, HNTB navigated various challenges, including relocating underground utilities, widening roads, upgrading storm drain capacities and acquiring right-of-way properties. HNTB’s other responsibilities included participating in design reviews and construction oversight to expand the Mount Ogden bus maintenance facility to accommodate the OGX electric bus fleet.
“Our local expertise proved instrumental in turning potential roadblocks into avenues for progress and development, which was especially important given the complexity of this project,” said Greg Thorpe, HNTB’s construction project manager. “The teams confronted and overcame several unique challenges, including workarounds to accommodate WSU’s ongoing campus schedules and activities, the construction of on-route and depot charging stations, minimizing impacts from road reconstructions, along with the expansion of the bus maintenance facility.”
Another key component of the project was designing it so buses could arrive every 10-15 minutes during weekdays or 15-30 minutes on weekends. In addition, buses run every five to eight minutes from the WSU Central Campus to student housing and the Dee Events Center. It’s estimated that BRT will reduce 1,300 vehicle miles traveled per day.
“This project was no small feat and was brought to fruition because of the collaboration between several partner agencies,” said Todd Hopkins, HNTB’s senior project controls specialist on the OGX project. “The community will benefit greatly by having this new transportation offering.”
“Transit is the critical infrastructure key to long-term growth strategies across the Wasatch Front and specifically in Ogden,” said UTA Trustee Beth Holbrook. “Connectivity is central to how current and future residents live their lives, work, play and recreate. UTA works to deepen its collaboration with cities to boost connectivity through transit, active transportation and development of transit-oriented communities.”