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Governor Polis urges U.S. Transportation Secretary to distribute transportation grants for Western Slope

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 8:03 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -Gov. Polis is urging the U.S. Transportation Secretary and the Biden administration to support projects to boost mobility and economic growth for communities across the Western Slope.

In a letter to the secretary, the Governor explained the many benefits of the projects Colorado has proposed for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE, grants.

“The Western Slope is home to a backbone of rural and urban communities along Interstate 70, the state’s only contiguous east/west route and the gateway to Colorado’s thriving outdoor recreation industry. High costs of housing in our popular tourist destinations often push local residents to city outskirts or surrounding rural areas, compounding the need for accessible and affordable mobility options.” The Governor wrote.

RAISE grant money would help fund the mobility hub project planned for Grand Junction. The project will provide a single point of access for Bustang, Greyhound and Grand Valley Transit. Bicycle and pedestrian amenities would also encourage activity at a now underutilized property, turning it into a community gathering space.

In Glenwood Springs, the grant money would help transform a five-lane street into a pedestrian-oriented main street that helps promote local businesses.

RAISE grant funds could also help double the capacity of a park-n-ride in Rifle as the ridership continues to increase. The project also could result in a site that would be more suitable for downtown development which is a high priority for the city.

“Colorado’s Revitalizing Main Streets program has fortified a strong partnership between the state and cities and communities that’s focused on strengthening downtowns and the quality of place,” said Shosana Lew, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation. “This grant application builds on that partnership.”

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