This previous rail right-of-way is categorized by competing residual industrial uses with residential and commercial development. Multiple Brownfields properties and the Utah Power & Light/Utah Barrel Company Superfund are situated along the pathway. Contamination of the land and groundwater continue to degrade the health of the neighborhood. Social issues, homelessness, crime, and drug use, have moved-in with lack of use through the corridor.
The two-mile Folsom Trail will create a safe, comfortable connection for families and residents on the west-side to employment and services in Downtown Salt Lake City. An underground culvert – containing City Creek overflows from the North Temple culvert – flows through the corridor. Through the daylighting of City Creek adjacent to the trail, the project will improve the environmental and public health of the area by alleviating water quality impairments, improving access to nature, and mitigating flooding concerns.
During the Gateway District redevelopment, the daylighting of City Creek became a major focus of the vision. In 2007, the Folsom Avenue spur, a bottleneck rail line, was realigned. In response to 1983’s massive flooding, an overflow culvert for City Creek was placed down the corridor in 2010. A study was commissioned for daylighting feasibility, remnants of which can be seen in the Euclid Small Area Master Plan and North Temple Boulevards Plan. Curiously, the daylighting project never took off.
In 2016, Salt Lake City Transportation procured $100,000, through Community Improvement Project funds, for the construction of a paved, multi-use pathway through the corridor. An additional $350,000 was awarded from Salt Lake City Council for trail construction and to study the feasibility of daylighting. The Utah Transit Authority included the project in a federal assistance application, securing $1.7 million for trail construction. The Seven Canyons Trust, in partnership with Salt Lake City Transportation and Restore North Temple, has begun the engagement and design phase to gather community desires for the area.