Tester, Baucus secure nearly $4 million for Bozeman area

Money will help Bozeman rebuild after gas explosion and fund area infrastructure

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The influential Senate Appropriations Committee has agreed to set aside nearly $4 million for critical transportation projects in Bozeman, Belgrade and Livingston at the request of Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus.

Tester and his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee today approved $3,725,000 for four Bozeman-area projects as part of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.

The funding is part of more than $14 million secured by Tester and Baucus in the measure to create jobs and invest in infrastructure across Montana.

The money will fund the following projects:

  • Montana Department of Transportation: $1.5 million to help fund a long-awaited interchange on I-90 just east of Belgrade.  The new interchange will greatly improve traffic and boost the area’s economy.
  • City of Bozeman: $1 million to help the City of Bozeman recover from significant losses caused by a March 5 gas explosion that flattened four historic buildings downtown.
  • Park County: $625,000 to help rebuild the Ninth Street Island Bridge, which was damaged by high water in June of 2008.  The bridge spans the Yellowstone River and connects Livingston to Ninth Street Island.
  • City of Livingston: $600,000 to improve public safety by funding the design and construction of a railroad undercrossing at 5th Street.  When completed, drivers, bikers, pedestrians and emergency responders won’t have to wait for long freight trains in order to cross town.

“This money will make a huge difference for the City of Livingston and we are so appreciative of the efforts of the Senators to secure this funding,” said Ed Meece, City Manager for the city of Livingston. “This is a vital project for our community, and this money will allow us to put people to work, soon, on moving the railroad underpass to completion.”

“These are smart investments that will create jobs improving transportation in Belgrade and Livingston and rebuilding downtown Bozeman,” Tester said.  “These projects will go a long way in improving Montana’s economy, and I’ll vote for them every step of the way.”

“Investing in infrastructure like roads and bridges creates jobs now and will pay off for generations to come,” Baucus said.  “I’m committed to economic development and bringing good-paying jobs to Montana and rebuilding downtown Bozeman will do just that.”

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill now goes to the full Senate for approval.  A similar measure has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives.