LOGAN – The final chunks of asphalt and sidewalk were removed from Center Street Thursday – along with a few pieces of history.
Construction crews are on schedule as they continue to work on the $1.9 million redevelopment project, according to Assistant City Engineer Tom Dickinson.
“We’re right on track,” he said. “We are probably one day ahead from the forecast the city had.”
As part of the project, Dickinson said it was necessary to remove an old trolley track underneath the asphalt.
“The city was aware of it when we came into this project because water and sewer line crews have been fighting it every time there’s a water leak and trying to dig around it and through it,” said Dickinson. “It lived it’s life and it’s just time to come up.”
The life of the historic track and the trolley began in the early 1900’s and ended a few decades later. A brief history can be found at the Logan Library in the Virginia Hanson Special Collections. It reads:
Founded in January of 1910 by several prominent business men including David Eccles, the Logan Rapid Transit Company established a trolley car that went from the train depot (now Cafe Sabor) east to Main Street, north to 4th North and from there up to College Hill. By 1912 the route had been extended to stretch north to Smithfield and south to Providence. In 1914 a additional track was laid westward to Box Elder County where it connected with other tracks that had already been laid. In the days of slow and tedious horse and buggy travel, one could travel to Salt Lake in only 5 hours!
By the mid-1920’s the train system began to suffer when it came into competition with automobiles. By 1926, some of electric rail lines had already been discontinued. Although it hung on for a couple of more decades, the last of the electric rail lines was abandoned in March of 1947.
“The city does recognize the historic significance of the trolley,” explained Dickinson. “We have actually reserved a few pieces of the trolley track. We don’t have a specific use in mind yet, but we are just reserving those for anything in the future. The remainder of it will stay with LeGrand Johnson, the contractor. They have the salvage rights to it. I don’t know what they are going to do with it,” he said.
Ten days into the redevelopment project, Dickinson said many of those working at businesses along that block of Center Street are still not clear what is planned for the area. So he spent time on Thursday morning visiting with employers and dropping off an artist rendering of what it will look like when it’s completed in mid November.
“This is just a great effort to try to keep everyone informed and give them a visual of what it’s going to look like in the end,” he said.
Mayor Holly Daines also stopped by a number of the businesses on Wednesday evening to drop off city parking passes to employers looking for alternative parking spots during the construction period.
To help lessen the confusion of parking for those wanting to patronize businesses on Center Street, Dickinson said the city will be posting new signs to better direct vehicle and foot traffic in the area. The signs should be installed by Monday, August 19.