U.S. Senators for Idaho Jim Risch and Mike Crapo announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award the City of Ponderay $1.4 million and the Nez Perce Tribe $19.1 million in funding as part of the Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) competitive grant program. This funding will help the City of Ponderay fund the design and engineering of safe, direct access from Ponderay to the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail and support the Nez Perce Tribe as it works to rebuild the Aht’Wy interchange and plaza area on US 95/12, one of Idaho’s most dangerous stretches of road. Risch and Crapo released the following statements applauding the announcement:
“This is great news for the City of Ponderay and the Nez Perce Tribe, and I want to thank Secretary Chao and her staff at the Department of Transportation for their support for these infrastructure projects,” said Risch. “These projects will revitalize Idaho’s aging infrastructure as the state continues to experience rapid growth while providing local jobs and new opportunities for economic growth.”
“The BUILD grants approved for the City of Ponderay and the Nez Perce Tribe will enhance safety measures on Idaho’s roadways for residents and local businesses,” said Crapo. “Further, these projects will be a major factor in bringing increased business and employment opportunities as the improvement projects bring visitors to the area. Secretary Chao has made supporting Idaho infrastructure a priority and I appreciate her and the Department of Transportation’s support.”
Background: Senators Risch and Crapo wrote to Secretary Chao on April 29, 2020, and Aug. 5, 2020, in support of the Nez Perce Tribe and City of Ponderay’s grant applications respectively. Representative Russ Fulcher also signed the letter in support of the Nez Perce’s Interchange Project.