Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

The Courtyard

Colfax project gets $8.6 million price tag


July 19, 2018 | View PDF

Colfax City Council members Monday night approved a resolution in support of the state Department of Transportation’s application for a federal BUILD grant to provide funds for revision of the intersection of Highways 26 and 195 on the north end of Colfax. The resolution follows a presentation at the prior city meeting by Larry Larson, assistant regional administrator for development for the department.

The state has applied for a $6 million grant for the federal funds which would be combined for a $2.6 million match from the state.

The project would remove two bridges dating back to the 1930s and in need of repairs estimated to cost $2.7 million. The current bridges are listed as narrow, which makes traffic difficult.

Larson July 2 explained options for a roundabout and a T intersection at the junction, with one new bridge leading to N. Main Street.

The BUILD grant program of the U.S. Transportation Department stands for Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development and has reportedly been funded for $2.5 million dollars. The new program is intended to supply funding for rural areas.

A former state grant application for the highway intersection failed to receive funding for redoing the intersection. That application was submitted to the TIGER grants program which has been supplanted by the BUILD program.

Larson in his report here noted federal TIGER program was funded at approximately 20 percent of the funds that have gone into the new BUILD program.

Mayor Todd Vanek said Monday he understands both a roundabout and T intersection proposal will remain as options in the grant application. The city expects to get word on the grant application’s fate at the end of the year.

Larson noted when he was here that the state’s application for funding for the Colfax project could be competing with a Spokane County application to fund road projects to hook up Interstate 90 with the proposed giant processing center project which is believed to be an Amazon fulfillment center in the Geiger Field area.


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