Eagle County won’t get grant for airport interchange | VailDaily.com

Eagle County won’t get grant for airport interchange

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY – Maybe next time. If there is a next time.

Eagle County Wednesday came up empty on a grant application widely seen as the best, and perhaps last, chance to get funding for a connecting road and interchange between the Eagle County Regional Airport and Interstate 70. The grant was part of the federal “Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery,” or TIGER program.

That program was fairly limited in terms of money available, but still drew more than 1,400 applications from all over the country. Only 51 projects were funded, and only one of those was in Colorado – $10 million for work on U.S. Highway 36 between Denver and Boulder.

“They asked for something like $200 million and got $10 million,” Eagle County Commissioner Peter Runyon said. “I’m not sure what they’re going to do with that.”

Runyon, who has been the county’s most vocal advocate for the interchange project, said the chances were slim of Eagle County landing this grant.

“It’s still a big disappointment, though,” he said. “You tend to hope against your own best judgment.”

Runyon said political realities meant most of the TIGER grants ended up in more populous states.

So now what?

Runyon said all the project’s design work is finished, so the proposal can be dusted off and submitted the next time a chance for funding comes up.

That might be sooner than later.

“There’s a new highway funding authorization bill coming up,” he said. “We might be able to participate in that.”

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or smiller@vaildaily.com.

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