Three Vermont infrastructure projects will receive $34 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Vermont’s congressional delegation announced Wednesday.
The money comes from three Rebuilding American Infrastructure With Sustainability and Equity — RAISE — grants from the current federal budget.
The three grants will go toward replacing the Winooski River Bridge that connects Winooski and Burlington, constructing the Federal Street multi-modal connector in St. Albans and planning improvements in public transportation in five Vermont counties.
With the federal dollars, these projects will be able to begin much sooner than expected, Sen, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in the press release. Without that money, “it would take years, if not decades, for the state and localities to secure the funds necessary to move forward with these proposals,” Leahy said.
The bulk of the money, $24.8 million, will go toward building the Winooski River Bridge, which will replace the existing Main Street Bridge that is currently “a major congestion point with inadequate sidewalks and no bike facilities,” the press release said. The new bridge will be wider and have barrier-separated walking and bike lanes.
“Winooski is thrilled to have this opportunity to improve the safety of this very important structure for our region,” said Winooski City Manager Elaine Wang in the press release.
The city of St. Albans will receive $7.7 million to build the Federal Street multi-modal connector to improve transportation between Federal Street and Interstate 89. According to the press release, this project “has been in the planning stages for decades.”
“We’re delighted to have federal support to launch it from the drawing board onto the ground,” said St. Albans City Manager Dominic Cloud.
The remaining $2.1 million will go toward “transit-oriented development,” including improved bus and commuter rail services in Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Rutland and Washington counties.
“This effort will provide housing and transportation options, address climate change, and improve equity in our communities,” said Charlie Baker, executive director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. said in the release that the grants will “help Vermonters meet basic needs by improving their ability to travel to work and school, buy groceries, and access health care.”
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said the projects will help create a more equitable state, and the grants will do “good for our environment, our health, and the well-being of our communities.”
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