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Durango, Archuleta County receive $2.3 million in federal grants for transportation

Money to be used to fund improvements to buses, bus facilities
A city of Durango Transit bus departs after dropping students off at Fort Lewis College.

The Federal Transit Administration will award Archuleta County more than $1.8 million and Durango Transit $479,444 to create a new bus facility and replace aging infrastructure, according to grant documents released Friday.

The grant money will go toward a new multimodal center in Pagosa Springs, said Matt Archuleta, operations manager for Archuleta County Public Works Division.

The facility is planned for a parcel on Harman Park Drive next to the Wells Fargo, Archuleta said, and will be connected to a trail project in the city.

Archuleta said there are plans to include a bike rack and potentially a bike repair station to help those navigating the trails.

“They can go from uptown Pagosa to downtown Pagosa, and it’ll be a silo place where we can keep our buses out of the elements,” Archuleta said.

Archuleta County will be spending about $190,000 on the project as required by the grant’s terms.

In Durango, the money will replace four buses that operate the Walmart and Fort Lewis College routes, one Opportunity Bus and one trolley on the Main Avenue Trolley route.

The city will also match the federal dollars with $119,861 from the 2021 Capital Equipment Replacement Fund as required.

Durango Transit said it has received money from a number of grant programs through the Federal Transportation Administration to replace an Opportunity Bus, support operations and other purposes.

The money is part of more than $14.8 million the agency is awarding through its Bus and Bus Facilities grant program to the Colorado Department of Transportation, which disburses the money to local agencies.

In a statement announcing the money, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said he was “proud to work with communities across Colorado to support their infrastructure priorities.”

“With Colorado’s rapidly growing population, I will continue to advocate for improvements to our transportation systems to ensure their safety and efficiency for Coloradans,” Gardner said in a statement.

The grants were part of a competitive application process opened by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Jan. 30 and ended April 29 after an extension because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacob Wallace is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, D.C.

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