A $14 million federal grant for a new interchange project on Interstate 80 near Rock Springs will improve traffic mobility and safety, and help entice business development in the area.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation will receive a $14 million federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant that will be used to construct a new interchange and reconstruct Industrial Road from Foothill Boulevard south to Blairtown Road.
The $14 million grant WYDOT will receive is part of the $1.5 billion INFRA grant program, which is part of the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.
“This project is vital to Wyoming because it will improve traffic flow and provide a direct connection from Interstate 80 to an intermodal industrial park that provides energy-related services,” said WYDOT Director Bill Panos. “The Rock Springs area has a growing industrial park, which has direct access to rail service. This interchange will facilitate intermodal access, and freight movement and will open new areas for commercial, industrial and economic growth.”
Although WYDOT will receive $14 million, the total cost of the project is just under $30 million. Federal grants like the INFRA program are necessary to help important projects like the one near Rock Springs come to fruition. Federal grants rely on local match, and in order to be competitive, the state’s ability to provide matching funds is necessary.
The project includes replacing an existing bridge over the interstate to provide a higher vertical clearance, constructing eastbound and westbound ramps with continuous acceleration/deceleration lanes to Dewar Drive and building a new grade-separated crossing over the Union Pacific Railroad for access to the industrial park.
Construction could begin in 2020.
WYDOT applied for the grant to help improve traffic flow and safety in the area. Currently, there is no direct access to the interstate from the industrial area. Trucks have to drive through residential areas to access the industrial park.
With I-80 being a major freight network, the new interchange will help improve movement of freight within the state and nationally, helping to diversify the economy in this part of the state. It can also help entice future growth in the industrial area by offering direct access to the interstate.
“The Rock Springs project meets the needs of the public because it will reduce truck traffic in non-commercial areas while it addresses the current needs and future growth of the energy sector in that area,” said Gregg Fredrick, WYDOT chief engineer.