In case you missed it, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper visited Floyd Hill and Pueblo to announce federal funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law coming to critical infrastructure projects, including $100 million to improve a key segment of I-70 and $60 million for construction of the Arkansas Valley Conduit.
Hickenlooper also attended the Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity Hope Springs development groundbreaking, which will provide nearly 500 affordable housing units in Greeley.
Check out the headlines below:
[The Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity Hope Springs development] will be the largest Habitat development in the state, providing affordable and mixed-rate housing. Once completed, it will provide homeownership opportunities to 176 Habitat families.
[Cheri] Witt-Brown, executive director of the Greeley-Weld Habitat, was joined Tuesday by U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, Tyler Richardson of Richmark Companies — a local developer and partner on the project — Greeley Mayor John Gates, JBS USA general manager Celio Fritche, Greeley City Manager Raymond Lee III, Colorado Rockies CEO and owner Dick Monfort and others for a ground blessing ceremony before work is set to begin on the project.
Hickenlooper is supporting the project with a congressionally directed spending request to the Senate Appropriations Committee of more than $2.5 million, describing the project as a model that can be replicated across the country to help ease housing woes.
Colorado’s top elected officials threw a jovial first shovelful of dirt Wednesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a long-sought project: The expansion of Interstate 70 at Floyd Hill, one of the most notorious pinch points in Colorado’s entire mountain road network.
“Help is on the way,” Gov. Jared Polis said.
The project, estimated to cost $700 million, is now fully funded with a mix of state and federal money, Polis announced. The expansion will add a westbound toll lane, a new eastbound climbing lane for slow vehicles, wildlife crossings and fencing, a new frontage road, and other improvements. Those will all add up to smoother travel for motorists, cyclists and transit riders, officials say.
Coloradans will always want mobility, added Sen. John Hickenlooper, calling it an “essential part of modern life.” The highway expansion will allow for that, he said — and make better use of future improvements to technology through vehicles electrification and automation.
“What these guys have done is design a component to make our lives more efficient and easier, and less stressful and safer and faster,” Hickenlooper said. “But at the same time, creating lots of opportunity for what that future’s going to look like.”
Sixty years [after President John Kennedy announced the Arkansas Valley Conduit], substantial federal money is flowing into the project that will supply clean drinking water from Pueblo Reservoir to dozens of Eastern Plains communities along the Arkansas River.
On Thursday, county commissioners from the region, water officials and both of Colorado’s U.S. senators gathered at the headquarters of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District to commemorate the new funding for the project.
The $60 million federal allocation from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package represents approximately 10% of the total estimated cost of the project.
Hickenlooper was heavily involved with negotiations for the legislation that was signed into law in November 2021. Many Senate Republicans supported the bill, but most House Republicans, including the three Republicans from Colorado, voted against it.
“I think that for a long time, we were getting the short end of the stick again and again when they began divvying up infrastructure projects around the country,” Hickenlooper said. “Colorado’s history is written in water.”