VIDEO: The Board of El Paso County Commissioners voted today to accept the $65 million grant from the federal government that will partially fund the expansion of I-25 between northern Colorado Springs and Castle Rock.

“Today is a good day for our county and our region,” said Board of County Commissioners Chair Mark Waller. “The Board of County Commissioners has shown real leadership in moving this grant forward. We are thrilled to get this grant. The county was one of two counties nationwide to receive this grant. That fact speaks to all the work that’s been done to get this project shovel-ready in such a short period of time.”

The transportation grant—also known as the INFRA Grant— is a big part of the funding for the I-25 widening project. Today’s vote finalizes the legal agreement between El Paso County and the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The vote subsequently will allow the County to accept the money from the federal government. El Paso County applied for the funds in 2017 and awarded the grant in July of 2018. The agreement reached between the county and USDOT is a critical step to completing a public safety project.

Just two years ago, experts believed the widening of I-25 would take ten years to complete. Local leaders quickly mobilized to accelerate the project timeline. Commissioner Waller, along with leaders from Douglas County, the City of Colorado Springs, and local chambers and economic development councils, fought to complete the project faster. Now, the project has had local, state, and federal funds identified. The required environmental studies and project design has been completed. Construction on the project began on September 30, 2018.

Today’s efforts represent years of work by county leadership. “I’d like to thank everyone that worked so hard on these projects,” County Administrator Henry Yankowski said. “The vision provided by our elected officials combined with the tenacity of our staff leads to great days like today.”