U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert is seeking funding from an infrastructure bill that she voted against in March.
Boebert wants $33.1 million for the South Bridge in Glenwood Springs, according to a newsletter from her office. She also sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg advocating construction of the Glenwood Springs bridge.
The city is requesting $33.1 million in Rural Surface Transportation grant money to complete the project, which would create a second point of access between Colorado State Highway 82 and the western side of the Roaring Fork River in the south Glenwood Springs area.
Boebert voted against President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, calling the legislation “wasteful” and “garbage” on Twitter. Rural Surface Transportation grant funding began under former President Barack Obama’s Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act in 2015.
In her letter to Buttigieg, Boebert said, “Glenwood Springs’ South Bridge Project aligns with the Rural Surface Transportation program’s goals to improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas to increase connectivity, improve the safety and reliability of the movement of people, generate regional economic growth, and improve the quality of life for residents of the Lower Colorado River Valley and the Roaring Fork Valley. This connection will also reduce traffic congestion, improve safety along State Highway 82, and will protect hundreds of lives in the event of a fast-moving fire.”
In an email to The Durango Herald, Boebert said the bill she introduced, America’s Infrastructure Modernization Act, is a “real solution” for funding infrastructure.
“I am for investing in rural Colorado, but Biden’s so-called infrastructure bill was not the right way to do it,” she said. “Less than 10% of (the) $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill went to roads and bridges. The bill provides tens of billions of dollars for Solyndra style slush funds, Green New Deal policies, electric busses (sic), and government welfare.”
Boebert’s bill would have drawn on unspent COVID-19 funding to fund infrastructure projects, Boebert said.
“100% of my bill goes to a targeted, efficient infrastructure plan that works for America. My bill would not increase federal spending or taxes, since it would reallocate $650 billion of the remaining unspent COVID funds,” she told the Herald.
The project has a local match commitment of $24 million, including a $20 million local cash match and a $4 million commitment from the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority. In her letter, Boebert stressed the importance of the bridge during emergency situations.
“With Rural Surface Transportation grant funds, Glenwood Springs will construct a new bridge connection that will provide a critical second emergency route/evacuation access between State Highway 82 and the western side of the Roaring Fork River in the City’s South Corridor,” Boebert wrote.
In March, Boebert also celebrated funding that she voted against from the same bill, with a newsletter distributed by her office afterward touting “nine Boebert wins for Colorado.” Boebert is also against the use of earmarks, which provide federal funding for local projects.
Nina Heller is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a student at American University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.