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Colorado receives $8.2 million grant for Highway 287 improvements

Highway 287 traffic
Posted at 11:43 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 13:49:50-04

EADS — The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Colorado with an $8.297 million federal grant to add passing lanes to U.S. Highway 287 in southern Colorado.

A CDOT representative said the improvements will add 12 miles of passing lanes on a 122-mile stretch of the highway from the Oklahoma border to Kit Carson as part of the federal Infrastructure For Rebuilding America program.

Democrats and Republicans representing Colorado issued statements supporting the project, including Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. Cory Gardner, Gov. Jared Polis and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck.

“Safety and mobility are so important to have an effective transportation system and to support healthy local economies,” said Gov. Polis in a news release. “With these funds, travel on U.S. Highway 287 through rural Colorado, a major agricultural corridor, will become much more safe and efficient.”

"I am thrilled to see US 287 is receiving this important funding, as it is a vital freight route and is key to Southeastern Colorado's connectivity," said Sen. Gardner in a news release. "This funding will help upgrade infrastructure in rural Colorado, bolster safety, reduce congestion, and create a more efficient path for commercial freight to travel in and out of southeast Colorado."

Gardner, Bennet and Buck sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the project in March. Southern Colorado's section of Highway 287 makes up a portion of the 2,300-mile Ports-to-Plains corridor, which is a trade route that extends from northern Alberta, Canada to Mexico.

The entire project is expected to cost a total of $24.9 million, with the rest of the funding coming from state funds. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.