29 Road in line for grant

Project one of 7 seeking state money

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Construction work on 29 Road between the Riverside Parkway and the railroad tracks,looking down from the top of the 29 Road bridge on Orchard Mesa looking north.Sent as 29 ROAD CONSTRUCTION 11-23 1.

Mesa County and Grand Junction are moving closer to obtaining potentially millions of dollars in state energy-impact grants to help build the 29 Road overpass over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

City and county officials recently learned the $32 million project is one of seven finalists for funding through the Department of Local Affairs program, which is subsidized by severance tax and federal mineral lease revenue. An energy-impact advisory committee narrowed the field of possible grant recipients from 10 to seven and asked them to submit full grant applications.

Those finalists have applied for $72 million, although only $17 million is available, Department of Local Affairs spokeswoman Linda Rice said. Mesa County has asked for $10 million.

“The fact that we made it into the group of seven is a very positive step,” county spokeswoman Jessica Peterson said Monday. “But I don’t think we can count on funding at this point. We still have to wait and see.”

Communities seeking grant money must demonstrate their projects involve multiple jurisdictions and are ready to be built right away, said Connie Hahn, who prepared the county’s grant application as the assistant to the county public works director.

The 29 Road project will provide a new connection to the Interstate 70 Business Loop and a direct link between Orchard Mesa and north Grand Junction.

It also will tie into two other projects completed in the last couple years: Riverside Parkway and the 29 Road bridge over the Colorado River.

The project is part of a larger initiative to provide one large loop around Grand Junction using Interstate 70, 24 Road, Riverside Parkway and 29 Road.

“The city and county see this as a much bigger project than that overpass,” Hahn said.

State officials will tour the 29 Road project in January, and city and county officials will give a presentation to the state committee in February.

Department of Local Affairs Executive Director Susan Kirkpatrick is expected to award grant money later that month.

Rice said Kirkpatrick could choose to give all $17 million to one project or spread the money among a few communities.


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