Missoula to Receive $13 Million Department of Transportation BUILD Grant for Infrastructure After Tester Advocacy
Senator advocated for project at the United States Department of Transportation
Missoula County will receive a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the Mullan BUILD project, after a sustained push from U.S. Senator Jon Tester.
Tester fought for the project at the federal level, meeting with the Missoula County Commissioners and other local advocates in his office in Washington, penning a letter of support to the Department of Transportation, and personally calling Secretary Elaine Chao.
“This grant is big news for anyone who lives, works, or does business in and around Missoula, and I’m glad the federal government agrees,” said Tester. “It’s a much-needed project that will help make housing more affordable, and improve roads and other infrastructure critical to keep Missoula thriving.”
The proposed Mullan BUILD project will provide valuable access to nearly 1,500 acres of undeveloped residential, commercial, and industrial land. The extended transportation infrastructure would enable new industry to set up shop in a focused area close to other businesses and employees. It would avoid the type of leap-frog development that stresses rural roads and would provide more, safer options for multi-modal travel. Funding for the project will boost the efficiency of the area’s transportation network as well as facilitate the transit of goods and people within the region.
The project will also help make possible the new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) for veterans in Missoula. The new clinic, which Tester fought to secure in bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate in 2017, will serve more than 47,000 veterans in the area and allow VA to expand its current Primary Care, Mental Health, and Specialty Care services.
Tester has led the charge to make substantial investments into Montana’s outdated infrastructure. He was instrumental in negotiating a bipartisan budget deal earlier this year, providing critical funding for infrastructure programs across the country. In the same funding agreement, he secured millions of dollars for infrastructure projects in Indian Country. This year alone, he has secured tens of millions in funding for airport infrastructure projects across Montana.