The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the City of Billings an $11,600,000 grant to construct the Inner Belt Loop, and complete the Skyline Trail, according to a press release from the Billings Planning and Community Services Department.
According to the press release, Congress has awarded more than $7.9 Billion in B.U.I.L.D. (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grants for projects that “facilitate the development of critical national roads, rails, ports, and transit.”
This is the day we have been hoping and praying for for years. The city can now get to work on building the iconic Skyline Trail on the Rimrocks overlooking our beautiful valley. The Inner Belt Loop will connect Billings Heights and West Billings to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion by Metra. None of this would have happened without the diehard support of our congressional delegation and community partners. They have our most sincere appreciation. Now let’s build this! -Bill Cole, Mayor of Billings
$7 million in local funds, and an $85,000 donation from Billings TrailNet will supplement the BUILD grant to complete the projects that, according to the press release, will increase safety, and:
- ENHANCE movement of goods, services and people;
- CREATE emergency route for Billings Heights and new economic development opportunities;
- STRENGTHEN multi-modal transportation infrastructure;
- INCREASE tourist and recreation economic activity;
- REDUCE travel time, congestion, and community’s carbon footprint;
- PROVIDE safe biking and pedestrian recreation and transit;
- IMPROVE quality of life and livability of residents by increasing direct access to nature and outdoor active recreation leading to better public health.