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Valley Metro, border town to benefit from new federal grants

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(The Center Square)— Nearly $40 million in federal taxpayer dollars are bound for transportation projects in Maricopa County and southern Arizona.

The funding is part of the application-based grants, and it will go toward helping the city of Douglas help nearly 8 miles of roadways as well as bolster the Valley Metro by extending it 4.35 miles in the east valley cities of Mesa and Tempe.

“This investment will improve transportation systems, create jobs, and boost economic development. It also represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to repair and expand vital commercial transportation infrastructure in Arizona’s border communities, as well as public transportation in the East Valley,” Sen. Mark Kelly said in a statement.

When it comes to the $23.5 million for Douglas, it’s primarily meant for roads used for business purposes, as it sits on the southern border.

The grant program known as RAISE, Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, is doled out through the federal Department of Transportation and it was increased as part of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, according to a news release. The 2021 law’s funds continue to be allocated, as the price tag came to a whopping $1.2 trillion.

“I wrote our bipartisan infrastructure law to help everyday Arizonans build better lives – and I’m proud of delivering this increased funding for RAISE grants to increase safety, efficiency, and accessibility in Arizona communities,” Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said in a statement.

The DOT announced on Monday that $1.8 billion will be granted by the federal government for 148 projects nationwide, a news release stated. The projects range from $25 million for fixing cold weather damage on Alaskan highways to $19 million for a “multi-use path” in Toledo, Ohio for “cyclists and pedestrians.”

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