DENVER-State Rep. Diana DeGette secured $94 million for critical transportation and infrastructure projects in the 1st Congressional District as part of the federal transportation-funding package. Most importantly, DeGette, says, she was able to secure $50 million for the Denver Union Station intermodal transportation hub and have it named a project of National and Regional Significance.

“This is of huge importance for everyone in the Denver area,” DeGette says. “I worked very closely with ranking member [Minnesota State Rep.] Jim Obserstar to convince him of the importance of the Denver Union Station Project and have it named–for the first time–a project of National and Regional Significance. We need to move forward with this ambitious project, which will be an economic engine for the entire region.”

Projects of National and Regional Significance are considered to have major economic benefits for the region and nation, including facilitating international trade, relieving congestion and improving passenger and freight travel by rail. Transit-oriented developments around such sites are important elements of new urbanism-styled developments, which are expected to take off in the metro area.

They usually involve a number of local, regional and federal government agencies that, without this designation, would require more complicated funding and oversight than other transportation projects. The Denver Union Station Project will include a rail connection to DIA and improved access to Amtrak.

Funding is also slated for several other critical transportation projects in the 1st District include: $14.2 million for the widening of the 56th and Quebec corridor, which will ease traffic congestion for residents of Commerce City, Montbello and Stapleton; $7.2 million for development of a new interchange, including entrance and exit ramps, at Interstate 70 and Havana, which will increase access to the Stapleton development; and $9 million additional funding for the intermodal transportation hub at Denver Union Station, which will include bus, light rail and commuter rail facilities.

Additional funding includes: $2 million for I-70 East; $2.4 million for research into multimodal transportation projects for the DU Center for Intermodal Transportation; $5.6 million for Denver and RTD Bus replacement; and $3 million for the Denver RTD Bus Maintenance Facility.

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