PUEBLO—Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar attended a panel discussion with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Amit Bowes alongside Governor of Colorado Jared Polis and Executive Director of Colorado Department of Transportation Shoshana Lew. The panel discussion took place on Mon., Dec. 11 at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion, Carriage House in Denver.
The panel discussion included the Biden administration’s key rail priorities, rail safety and the opportunities of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for the future of rail in Colorado. Much of the discussion on Monday included creating small businesses at transit centers throughout the state. Additional housing will also need to be created near the corridors to accommodate the influx of travel and individuals.
“It is clear that Colorado Front Range Rail has attracted the attention of the Biden administration and the hard work that has been done planning for the future is beginning to pay off,” said Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar. “Pueblo’s participation in this process insures that we will participate in the growth that Colorado will experience.”
Administrator Bowes is traveling to Pueblo on Tues., Dec. 12 for discussions with the Transportation Technology Center and meetings for future transportation plans. Colorado is in the Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program which is a pipeline for further projects according to Administrator Bowes. He believes that Colorado is a model for the other states in terms of rail planning.
Colorado is a growing state and growing states should incorporate rail in that growth to move people.
On Monday, the panel stated that expanding rail passenger transportation will create more jobs in Colorado. Governor Polis stated that Front Range Rail and Mountain Rail will create dividends for generations of Coloradoans.