On May 17, 2021, the Colorado Department of Transportation continued the awarding of Revitalizing Main Streets grants to help communities renovate their community infrastructure, revitalize economic activity and boost public safety.The Revitalizing Main Streets grant program began last summer in an effort to mitigate the negative economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
The continuation and expansion of this program was made possible through a $30 million allocation from the state legislature in March 2021 and those funds are currently available for local government competition, with significant anticipated demand.
Importantly, the passage of SB-260 would further extend this highly successful program beyond the current grant cycle.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to support our community and attract even more business to our fun downtown areas through creative and practical transportation-related safety projects,” said Governor Jared Polis.
“As we recover from the pandemic and work to build back Colorado even stronger, this investment will create meaningful and lasting improvements along our beloved main streets,” he added.
The six new projects awarded from the $30 million in stimulus funding are:
City of Aspen – Award | $149,999.00
Project: Support the Paepcke Transit Hub with EV charging stations, public bike parking, and improved pedestrian crossings.
Town of Poncha Springs – Award | $135,000.00
Project: Construction and integration of the first pedestrian highway crossing across US 50 with a pedestrian refuge island so individuals can more easily cross the highway. The project would provide increased pedestrian mobility by creating a safe multi-modal connection between existing residential neighborhoods and newly established commercial developments.
City of Gunnison – Award | $149,999.00
Project: Support a project to realign and reconstruct an intersection next to the elementary school and new public library. Sidewalks, crossings, and ramps will be improved and the intersection will also include a new stop for the Gunnison RTA bus system.
Town of Windsor – Award | $145,000
Project: Install comprehensive wayfinding signage for bicycles and pedestrians in downtown Windsor, including permitting, fabrication, and sign construction and installation.
Gunnison County – Award | $149,999.00
Project: Improve the facilities and access to the Shady Island River Park, a park connected to downtown Gunnison via the multimodal Gunnison Recreation Trail and highly trafficked in the summer by river tourists. Improvements include trail and walkway improvements, bathroom facilities, picnic pavilions, and picnic tables.
City of Pueblo – Award | $56,416.72
Project: Install seven 5-globe pedestrian lights and replace three street lights along Santa Fe Avenue in downtown Pueblo. This is a critical part of downtown walking that is currently underlighted, despite connecting multimodal trails and sidewalks to businesses, restaurants, hotels, and the convention center in a highly trafficked corridor.
Since the program’s inception, 84 projects have been awarded from the program’s original set of funding and an additional six projects have now been awarded from the $30 million in stimulus funding announced on March 19 – bringing the total Revitalizing Main Streets grant awards to 90 projects statewide and growing. Awarded projects span the entire state, from Denver and Boulder to Hugo and Limon to Frisco and Rifle.
“Expanding this program helps communities of all sizes across the state of Colorado implement projects catered toward all modes of transportation to enhance safety, improve the local environment, and support economic vitality,” said said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “These partnerships between CDOT and local governments are vital as we work together to help downtown areas stay dynamic and vibrant.”
Here’s what some of those recipients said:
“The City of Aspen values the regional partnerships and funding for the project. The Paepcke Transit Hub project will improve the safety for all user groups while promoting pedestrian, cyclist, and transit movements throughout the existing corridor,” said Paepcke Transit Hub Project Manager, Mike Horvath, P.E. “Multimodal improvements will increase pedestrian connectivity, cycling infrastructure, and access to the regional transit service. The project will also upgrade access to bike and car share services as well as the electrification of these services. The project will address the needs of today’s users while increasing the use of multimodal transit options well into the future.”
“While this project fell under the “small” Multimodal & Economic Resiliency Projects opportunity it will have a BIG impact on a small but growing community,” said Brian Berger, Poncha Springs Town Administrator. “It will benefit safety, multimodal opportunities, promote active transportation, and encourage economic development as we all look to the recovery stage of the pandemic. The award of this grant couldn’t have come at a better time and the consideration is greatly appreciated.”
“The City of Gunnison is pleased to be awarded a Revitalizing Main Streets Small Multimodal and Economic Resiliency Grant for safety and multimodal improvements at the busy intersection of Quartz Street, 11th Street, and Spencer Avenue,” said the Engineering Team with the City of Gunnison. “This intersection concentrates motorized and non-motorized traffic from the Gunnison Community School, surrounding neighborhoods, recreational amenities, and the soon to be completed Gunnison County Library. The funds from this grant will help the city rectify long standing safety concerns at the intersection and offer Gunnison residents a safer non-motorized transportation pathway including direct access to a new RTA transit stop at the crossroads.”
“Gunnison County is thrilled to be the recipient of a Revitalizing Main Street grant for the Shady Island River Park project. The river park will be a great asset for our community and support economic vitality along with opportunity and access to outdoor recreation,” said Cathie Pagano, Director of Gunnison County Community and Economic Development. “The park includes a boat ramp, small craft access ramp, campground, picnic area, picnic pavilion, trails, and children’s natural play area. We expect it to be open to the public early this summer and funding from CDOT will help us get the project across the finish line.”
“The City of Pueblo is excited to accept funding for pedestrian and street lighting from CDOT’s Revitalizing Main Streets grant program,” said Kelly Grisham, Pueblo Public Works Senior Planner. “This award will play a significant role in the completion of the streetscape – sidewalk, landscaping, traffic signals, ADA improvements, street trees, and brick paving – that is nearing construction on Santa Fe Avenue, between Hector Garcia Place to 2nd Street in Pueblo.”
Numerous projects facilitated safe pedestrian access to outdoor dining, improved lighting, sidewalk repair, incorporated “parklets” into streetscapes, and much more.
Communities can apply for small grants up to $150,000 for multimodal and economic resiliency projects available on a rolling basis; large grant applications of up to $2 million closed on May 14, 2021.
For more information, visit the Revitalizing Main Streets page.