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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

DOT 149-10
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. DOT Announces Signing of Recovery Act Grant to Reconstruct Highway, Improve Sidewalks in Whitefish, Montana
Funds Will Improve Livability for Area Residents

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation signed an agreement with the City of Whitefish for $3.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds to make major improvements to US 93/Second Street, U.S Secretary of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.

"Investments like this demonstrate President Obama's commitment to creating jobs, rebuilding America's transportation infrastructure, and improving livability in communities across the country," said Secretary LaHood. "This grant makes possible road improvements that have been neglected for years."

In addition to a curb-to-curb reconstruction of the roadway in downtown Whitefish, improvements funded by the grant include installation of a modern traffic signal system, the addition of left turn lanes, and crosswalks that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The grant is part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program included in the Recovery Act to promote innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation. It is the second TIGER grant awarded to central Montana.

"Given the reliance rural communities place on highways and streets, this money will significantly improve safety and overall livability for Whitefish residents, in addition to putting Montanans back to work," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.

Whitefish, which is about 100 miles north of Missoula, is in Flathead County, an economically distressed area. Because of neighboring Glacier National Park and the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests, the route through Whitefish has seasonally high traffic and is very popular with pedestrians.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the selection of $1.5 billion worth of TIGER grants for 51 projects as part of the one-year anniversary of the Recovery Act on February 17.

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