Federal funding boosts long-awaited I-70 interchange project in Grand Junction

The Grand Valley will soon see the progress of a major transportation project that has been in the planning stages for decades. The I-70 interchange at 29 Road, which aims to improve access and mobility between Horizon Drive and I-70B in Grand Junction, has received $2 million in federal funding thanks to the efforts of Colorado senators.

A vision for improved connectivity and safety

The I-70 interchange at 29 Road is part of a larger vision to enhance the transportation network in the Grand Valley and support the economic development and growth of the region. The project has been included in local and regional transportation plans since the 1970s, but has faced challenges in securing funding and approvals.

The project will provide a new connection to I-70, a roadway extension to the north of I-70, and improvements on 29 Road between I-70 and Patterson Road. The benefits of the project include:

  • Reducing congestion and travel times on existing interchanges and roadways
  • Improving safety and operations for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists
  • Providing better access to businesses, services, and recreational opportunities
  • Enhancing the livability and attractiveness of the area

A collaborative effort to secure funding and approvals

The project is a collaborative effort between the City of Grand Junction, Mesa County, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The project partners have been working together to conduct studies, engage stakeholders, and obtain environmental clearances and federal and state approvals.

Federal funding boosts

The project received a boost in March 2024, when Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet announced that the project was among the recipients of a federal funding bill that allocated $1.9 billion for transportation and infrastructure projects across the country. The I-70 interchange at 29 Road was awarded $2 million, which will help cover the costs of the environmental clearance study and the CDOT Interchange Approval Process Policy (1601).

The environmental clearance study will evaluate the potential impacts and benefits of the project on the natural and human environment, and identify mitigation measures and design features to minimize or avoid adverse effects. The 1601 process will ensure that the project meets the technical and operational standards and requirements of CDOT and FHWA for a new interchange.

The project partners expect that the environmental clearance study and the 1601 process will take approximately three years to complete. The total cost of the project is estimated at $60 million, and the funding sources and timeline for the construction phase have not yet been determined.

A milestone for the Grand Valley and Colorado

The project partners and the local community have expressed their excitement and gratitude for the federal funding and the progress of the project. Mesa County Board of Commissioners Chair Janet Rowland said, “This is a project that most residents of Mesa County have wanted for a long time. We are thankful to have a good working relationship with the City of Grand Junction so that we can partner on this important project.”

Grand Junction Mayor Chuck McDaniel added, “Maintaining a well-planned transportation network is important to residents and our local economy. Projects like these add capacity to our network and improve the ways we move within the city.”

Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet also praised the project and its benefits for the Grand Valley and Colorado. Hickenlooper said, “This project will improve safety, reduce congestion, and support economic development in the Grand Valley. We’re glad to see this funding come through and look forward to seeing this project move forward.” Bennet said, “The I-70 interchange at 29 Road is a critical project for Grand Junction and Mesa County. This funding will help advance the planning and design process and bring us closer to breaking ground on this long-awaited project.”

For more information about the project, visit the City of Grand Junction website.

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