Udall, Bennet Announce Major Grant for U.S. 36 Boulder-Denver Project

Lawmakers Supported Funding to Fight Traffic with Managed HOV Lane, Bus Rapid Transit, Bikeway and Computerized Toll Collection

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet announced that Colorado has been awarded a $10 million grant to support improvements to relieve traffic congestion in the U.S. 36 corridor between Boulder and Denver. The grant, made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help construct a bus rapid-transit and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)/toll lane in each direction, plus a bikeway and an intelligent transportation system for toll collection and incident management. Under the program, the grant money can also be used to leverage a federal loan for up to a third of the total cost of the project.

"Anyone who has sat in traffic between Boulder and Denver knows how critical it is to find a sustainable solution to highway back-ups," Senator Udall said. "U.S. 36 is an impressive project that will create jobs and improve quality of life throughout the corridor. And by incorporating transportation alternatives, it will relieve congestion and encourage energy-efficient options like biking and carpooling. It's a model for the rest of the country, and I was proud to fight for it in Washington."

"This funding will be a huge relief for commuters in Denver and Boulder who spend so much time stuck in traffic on U.S. 36," Senator Bennet said. "The U.S. 36 project will create jobs while providing meaningful and sustainable transportation alternatives that will allow commuters to make better use of their time."

The U.S. 36 project is designed to create managed lanes used by HOVs and buses free of charge, while Single Occupant Vehicles (SOV) would pay a toll to use the managed lane. The mixture of SOV tolled and Bus/HOV non-tolled vehicles using the lanes will be "managed" through variable pricing for single vehicles to maintain free flow conditions within the managed lanes, even during rush hours.

Altogether, The U.S. Department of Transportation made grants to states, tribal governments, cities, counties and transit agencies across the country to fund 51 innovative transportation projects through the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program.

The TIGER grant program was included in the Recovery Act to spur a national competition for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, a region or the nation. Projects funded include improvements to roads, bridges, rail, ports, transit, and intermodal facilities.