The federal Department of Transportation has announced that Arizona will be getting around $90 million in grant funding through the agency’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program.
That money will pay for the expansion of Interstate 17 just to the north of Phoenix, while also adding eight miles of a flex lane system.
State officials have been focusing on I-17’s expansion, not just due to it being a busy highway, but also because it is a route that experiences an extraordinary amount of congestion and accidents.
The funding for the Arizona project is part of an overall $885 million in INFRA grants that the Transportation Department is releasing.
That funding is going to both large and small planned infrastructure projects in just over a dozen states.
In a statement, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the new grant funding will “improve major highways, bridges, ports and railroads around the country to better connect our communities, and to enhance safety and economic growth.”
The INFRA program is also sending to Colorado’s Department of Transportation nearly $8.3 million for the construction of around a dozen miles of passing lanes in the southeast corner of the state.
That work will see the enhancement of US. Route 287, a project that has been in the planning stage for several years.
Slicing through a major agricultural corridor of the state, the route is mostly made up of two lanes, and has also in recent years seen an increase in fatalities.
The funding, said Colorado Senator Cory Garner, will not just help upgrade 287’s infrastructure, but will also “create a more efficient path for commercial freight to travel in and out of southeast Colorado.”
The INFRA grant program was created in 2015 as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act and is specifically designed to fund projects focused on repairing crumbling infrastructure.
By Garry Boulard
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