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$11M grant awarded to Billings for Inner Belt Loop project

$11M grant awarded to Billings for Inner Belt Loop project
Posted at 11:49 AM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 13:49:21-04

BILLINGS - Billings will receive an $11 million federal grant for a major infrastructure project, officials announced Thursday.

The funding will go towards completing the Northwest Billings Connector and Marathon Loop. Funds will create nearly 25 miles of continuous parkways and improve access to residential and employment areas near Billings International Airport, according to a press release issued by U.S. Sen. Stave Daines.

“This BUILD grant funding will help modernize infrastructure in Billings, and is a big win for the community and jobs,” Daines said. “I’m glad to have secured these funds and I look forward to seeing these projects get started.”

RELATED: Billings Inner Belt Loop north of town moves ahead with engineering study

Billings Mayor Bill Cole and and Yellowstone County Commissioner John Ostlund praised the funding.

“This is the day we have been hoping and praying for for years," Cole said in a prepared statement. "The city can now get to work on building the iconic Skyline Trail on the Rimrocks overlooking our beautiful valley. The Inner Belt Loop will connect Billings Heights and West Billings to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion by Metra. None of this would have happened without the diehard support of Senator Daines, the congressional delegation, and our community partners. They have our most sincere appreciation. Now let's build this!”

"I want to thank the Trump Administration and especially Senator Daines for the help with securing Build Grant funding for the City of Billings. Billings and Yellowstone County will benefit from the new and improved transportation route," Ostlund stated. "Our contractors will have an opportunity to bid on millions of dollars of construction work, which will allow us to reduce congestion and traffic delays, and improve our transportation system for our residents.”

Big Sky Economic Development Executive Director Steve Arveschoug and Dan Brooks, director of Business Advocacy at the Billings Chamber of Commerce, also issued statements.

“When we work together to advocate for our community, this is the result," he said. "Over 11 million dollars to highlight and connect the natural beauty of our city, improve our ability to attract talent and new private investment , and further distinguish our community amenities. This brings significant momentum to our economic recovery.”

“Finishing the Inner Belt Loop and building Skyline Trail will not only open up more business opportunities, but significantly improve one of the features that defines Billings--our Rimrocks," Brooks said. "We are immensely grateful to Senator Daines and our entire congressional delegation who helped get this BUILD grant application across the finish line.”