RFTA scores another multi-million-dollar grant for Glenwood facility | AspenTimes.com

RFTA scores another multi-million-dollar grant for Glenwood facility

Staff report
This slide was part of the application RFTA used to secure federal grants to expand the Glenwood Springs maintenance facility.
Courtesy image

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority this week secured its second multimillion dollar federal grant for expansion of the Glenwood Springs maintenance facility.

RFTA learned this week it received a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development grant program, also known as BUILD.

That comes on the heels of receiving an $11.475 million Federal Transit Administration grant in August.

“With these two grants, and approximately $21.6 million in additional State grant funding and RFTA bond proceeds, RFTA anticipates it will be able to complete all four phases of the project over the next two to four years, making bus maintenance and storage activities safer and more efficient in the short term and positioning RFTA to meet future ridership demand created by residential and commercial growth over the next 20 years or more,” RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said in an email.

The project will also create numerous construction jobs to boost an economy facing uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

RFTA has applied for numerous grants for the project in the past. The prior applications were highly rated, Blankenship said, but there was stiff competition for limited funds. RFTA didn’t make the cut until now.

“To receive two major grant awards in the same year speaks to the merits of the project as well as to the persistence of RFTA board members and staff, who have worked diligently with Colorado’s Congressional delegation and U.S. Department of Transportation officials to build awareness of the critical need to expand the maintenance capability of the nation’s largest rural transit agency,” Blankenship wrote.

Colorado U.S. Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet supported the grant applications as did U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, whose district includes the Roaring Fork Valley.