Leahy, Sanders And Welch Applaud Over $34 Million In U.S. DOT Investments In Three Vermont Infrastructure Projects.

(WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2022) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator Bernie Sanders (I), Representative Peter Welch (D) and state and local officials announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded Vermont three Rebuilding American Infrastructure With Sustainability And Equity (RAISE) grants totaling $34,624,624 for Fiscal Year 2022.  The grants will support three projects in Vermont: replacing the Winooski River Bridge; construction of the Federal Street Multi-Modal Connector in St. Albans; and a planning grant to improve public transit in Northwestern Vermont. 

Senator Leahy said:  “These projects will help improve the daily lives of tens of thousands Vermonters.  It will make their commutes easier and make the roads safer as well as more bike-friendly. The infrastructure law provides rural communities like those in Vermont with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild and repair their roads and bridges.  Without these RAISE funds, it would take years, if not decades, for the State and localities to secure the funds necessary to move forward with these proposals.  I am delighted that these projects received Federal support and funding from the Department of Transportation.”

Senator Sanders said: “It is good news that Vermont is receiving over $34 million for transportation projects statewide. Through upgrades to public transit, sidewalks, bike lanes, and our overall infrastructure, this funding will help Vermonters meet basic needs by improving their ability to travel to work and school, buy groceries, and access health care.”

Congressman Welch said:  “These grants will fund essential projects across Vermont to alleviate congestion and create new opportunities for folks to bike and walk. That’s good for our environment, our health, and the wellbeing of our communities. I’m grateful to the folks at VTrans, local officials and advocates, and my fellow members of the Vermont Congressional delegation, whose hard work has helped bring this critical funding to Vermont and move these important projects forward.”

Governor Phil Scott said: “RAISE grants play an important role in improving our state’s infrastructure and enhancing its resiliency. I want to thank Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch for their advocacy on behalf of Vermont and their strong partnerships with the Vermont Agency of Transportation. These significant grants will go a long way for our state.”

Vermont Secretary of Transportation Joe Flynn said: “The Vermont Agency of Transportation is excited to receive this RAISE grant for the replacement of the Winooski River Bridge between Winooski and Burlington. This grant will help to upgrade this critical connection, between two major cities, and provide much-needed multi-modal transportation infrastructure. We are grateful for our congressional delegation’s support of this project.”

Winooski City Manager Elaine Wang said: “Winooski is thrilled to have this opportunity to improve the safety of this very important structure for our region.”

St. Albans City Manager Dominic Cloud said: “This project has been over 20 years in the making. We’re delighted to have federal support to launch it from the drawing board onto the ground.”

Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Charlie Baker said: “We are thankful to the delegation and USDOT for supporting smart growth development in Vermont. This effort will provide housing and transportation options, address climate change, and improve equity in our communities.”

The RAISE grant for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will provide $24,800,000 to build the Winooski River Bridge, which connects the cities of Winooski and Burlington.  The project would replace the existing Main Street Bridge, which was built in 1929 and carries a daily average of 25,000 vehicles.  Currently, the narrow bridge is a major congestion point with inadequate sidewalks and no bike facilities.  The new, wider Winooski River Bridge would have barrier-separated, multi-use paths on both sides including bike lanes.  This new bridge will allow residents the choice of active, fuel-free, lower-cost and on-demand transportation, contributing to improved health and environmental outcomes.  

The RAISE grant for the City of St. Albans will provide $7,724,624 to build the Federal Street Multi-Modal Connector. This project includes constructing a new roadway to improve connections between the Federal Street corridor and Interstate 89, as well as upgrading existing streets and making necessary traffic and multi-modal improvements.  This regional transportation project has been in the planning stages for decades. 

The RAISE Planning grant for the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission will provide $2,100,000 to develop a comprehensive plan for transit-oriented development for 12 communities across a five-county region in Northwest Vermont: Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Rutland, and Washington Counties.  The project will also support plans for improved bus services and/or commuter rail in the five-county region.

The Vermont Congressional Delegation submitted letters of support for the VTrans’ RAISE Grant project and the City of St. Albans’ RAISE Grant project in April, 2022, which are available here and here.

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