U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood, Interior Secretary Salazar Announce $2.2 Million to Improve Access to National Parks and Protected Areas in Colorado
Contact: Amy Bernstein
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited Colorado today to announce that the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and two other Colorado parks will receive grants worth a total of $2.2 million as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program. Secretaries LaHood and Salazar made the announcement at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex, along with Governor John Hickenlooper and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.
“In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama called on us to upgrade our nation’s transportation infrastructure to help grow our economy and improve energy efficiency,” said Secretary LaHood. “Improving access to modern transit services throughout Colorado’s scenic parklands and protected areas will help us to preserve these national treasures for future generations.”
Secretary LaHood, Secretary Salazar and FTA Administrator Rogoff traveled to Commerce City to announce a $1,735,000 grant to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex to expand the Rocky Mountain Greenway, a pedestrian and bicycle trail system that will connect the Denver metropolitan area’s trail systems, three National Wildlife Refuges in the region and Rocky Mountain National Park.
“By expanding the Denver metro area’s growing network of pedestrian and bicycle trails and connecting them to nearby national parks and protected areas, we’re helping millions of people to enjoy these public lands as they were meant to be enjoyed,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. “These investments will take cars off the road, reduce harmful emissions, and help keep our parks sustainable for years to come.”
Other grants in Colorado include:
$337,000 to the Town of Estes Park to expand the Fall River Multi-Use Trail System along 2.5 miles adjacent to U.S. Highway 34, improving pedestrian and bicycle access to Rocky Mountain National Park and creating a seamless trail between the Estes Park Visitor Center and the park entrance.
$140,000 to San Juan National Forest in Pagosa Springs to purchase new transit vehicles and implement a new shuttle service from the base area of the recently-designated Chimney Rock National Monument along a three-mile long road to the summit.
The funds announced today are part of $80 million distributed to 134 Transit in the Parks projects across the country over the last three years. This grant program was not reauthorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) which was passed by Congress last year. Going forward, public transportation projects serving national parks and other federal lands remain eligible for funding under the Federal Lands Transportation Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration.