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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $15.3 Million in Grants for Colorado Highway Projects

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Ray LaHood

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $15.3 Million in Grants for Colorado Highway Projects

Federal Highway Administration
17 August 2011

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

Funds will help create jobs by widening segment of Denver's I-225 and resurfacing nine miles of US 160 near Mesa Verde National Park

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $15.3 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Colorado, including widening a high-priority section of I-225 near Denver and resurfacing nine miles of US 160 – a route in southern Colorado heavily used by tourists to visit several national parks, monuments and the Anasazi Cultural Center.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Colorado residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Colorado received funding for the following projects:

Resurfacing Mesa Verde Interchange on US 160 near Mesa Verde National Park $4,600,000
Replacing the Pecos Street Bridge over I-70 $3,760,000
Widening of I-225 between Parker Road and Mississippi Avenue in Denver $3,750,000
Protection of natural, cultural and scenic resources along Colorado byways $1,734,341
Purchase and installation of 20 bike-sharing stations in downtown Denver $652,200
Specialized training to help people find work in highway construction $200,000
Safety improvements and congestion reduction at Grand Mesa County Line Trailhead in Delta County $186,500
Improvements to visitor amenities at Pawnee Buttes Trailhead in Weld County $148,000
Construction of shuttle bus shelter, plaza and connector trails at Rocky Mountain National Park $120,000
Technical assistance program to help Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms $90,000
Sign improvements at four sites along the Santa Fe Trail Scenic Byway $60,000
Improvements to turnouts along Silver Thread Scenic Byway $49,760
Installation of 30 bicycle racks along the 40-mile Lariat Loop Scenic Byway $25,200
TOTAL $15,376,001

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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