City, county and business officials spoke at a press conference in the Missoula County Courthouse on Tuesday to announce that the $13 million BUILD grant was officially received to begin the process of building out the west end of Missoula.

Ward 2 City Councilor Jordan Hess detailed the scope of the infrastructure project.

“The city of Missoula is incredibly excited to be a partner in this project,” said Hess. “The BUILD project will specifically build out about three miles of collector road network on the west end of town. It will add 3.7 miles of trails for residents in the area, and it will restore a little more than a half-mile of Grant Creek.”

Hess then described the build out of the streets in the area.

“It will connect Broadway to Mullan via George Elmer Drive and Mary Jane Boulevard and it will extend England Boulevard out to that area as well,” he said. “This is a road grid network that has been contemplated by the city and county for a couple of decades, and it’s something that we’re just so excited to deliver finally.”

Missoula Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim LaTrielle said she was specifically proud of the role that the Chamber had in bringing the BUILD grant to fruition.

“To be able to play the role of connector on this wonderful opportunity to go for this build grant is something that I will tell you in my 46 years has probably been the most exciting and the most rewarding experience for me,” said LaTrielle. “The biggest role the chamber played was that of effecting collaboration, so in every one of our meetings when we met with the Congressional delegation, everyone of them, I spoke about how this is the first time in the very best way, we’ve come together as a community for one thing, and that was this BUILD grant.”

19 representatives from Missoula traveled to Washington, D.C. in the spring to advocate for the grant award. They asked for $23 million and received $13 million.

City of Missoula Public Words Director Jeremy Keene said that starting today the clock is ticking on the BUILD project.

“The clock starts now,” said Keene. “We have until 2026 to deliver the whole project, so that’s a fairly tight timeline for a transportation project. There’s an obligation deadline which is a technical term that the DOT (Department of Transportation) uses to say the project is ready to be built. The whole project is $40 million, so even with the BUILD grant we have a pretty significant local match. A portion of that is made up by the right of way and a potion is from utility work that would happen. We’ll use the $13 million to help leverage out the back end to help finish everything out.”

Senator Steve Daines sent his congratulations via a video message.

“Great news today coming out of Washington, D.C. for Missoula,” said Daines. “You received a $13 million grant that’s going to help with some badly needed infrastructure for the city of Missoula, so congratulations Missoula for coming together and getting this done.”

According to the Transportation dot gov website, the following describes the purpose of BUILD grants.

‘The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Previously known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER Discretionary Grants, Congress has dedicated nearly $7.1 billion for ten rounds of National Infrastructure Investments to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact.