Tester, Baucus secure more than $3 million for Helena

Money will create jobs, improve health care and transportation

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The influential Senate Appropriations Committee has agreed to set aside more than $3 million for better health care and transportation in Helena at the request of Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus

Tester and his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee today approved the $3.1 million for the Helena projects as part of two bills that will fund the federal government next year.

The funding is part of more than $16 million secured by Tester and Baucus in the measures to create jobs, and invest in schools, health care, transportation and education across Montana.

The money approved today includes $3 million to help the State of Montana continue building the four-lane Custer Avenue interchange and Interstate-15 overpass in Helena.   The finished structure will also accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.

“This funding, on top of all of the money invested in Montana road projects thanks to the Jobs-Stimulus Bill, is great news for Montana,” said Jim Lynch, Director of the Montana Department of Transportation. “This money keeps the Custer Avenue Interchange project on schedule and we appreciate Jon’s and Max’s hard work in securing it.”

The funding also includes $100,000 to improve facilities at the Lewis and Clark City-County Health Department, which plans to modernize medical records and to move to a bigger location in downtown Helena.

“These are much-needed investments that will create jobs upgrading Helena’s infrastructure and improving health care,” Tester said.  “This money will put people to work now while investing in long-term infrastructure that will benefit Montana for generations, which is why I’ll vote for this funding every step of the way.”

“Completing the Custer Avenue interchange will expand opportunities for commerce and travel in Helena,” said Baucus, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.  “This funding will also go a long way in improving health care for Helena residents.  I’m proud to support these projects in my hometown.”

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill and the Labor, Health & Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill now go to the full Senate for approval.  Similar measures have already passed the U.S. House of Representatives.