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DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Transportation has awarded six initial grants to help cities and towns working to begin or expand efforts to promote public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDOT says the $4.1 million initiative is providing financial assistance to communities seeking to make creative modifications to state roadways or other public spaces as a way of promoting social distancing and economic activity. 

CDOT is providing grants to the following:     

·   Aspen – Enlarging the city’s Roadway for Restaurant and Retail Recovery program to increase the number of customers served within COVID-19 health guidelines. Expanding      e-bike capacity and increasing the number of downtown docking stations ($50,000).

·   Alamosa – Reducing its one-way Main St. (U.S. 160) from three to two lanes, repurposing the closed lane for public use, including dining and retail activities in downtown. It will provide permanent space that is more pedestrian friendly and accommodating for COVID-19 mitigation measures ($50,000).

·   Littleton – Increasing its Weekends on Main initiative – closing Main Street on summer weekends to let restaurants expand table service and extending the program for several more weekends, while also helping the city adhere to and promote social distancing guidelines. ($50,000).

·   Frisco – Providing new parklets (a sidewalk extension utilizing parking lanes) to increase pedestrian activities and enhance business access along Main Street ($50,000). 

·   Silt – Improving two sidewalk segments connecting residential areas to downtown and improve the walking spaces surrounding a senior living facility ($32,421).

·  Oak Creek – Converting an empty lot into a park, providing outdoor eating space and constructing a resting and repair station for bicyclists ($11,709).

Each entity is required to provide an additional 10 percent match to qualify for a grant, according to CDOT.

“In the applications received thus far, we have seen creative examples ranging from expanding downtown business capacity to encouraging multi-model access to a park in a small, rural community,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “The program has additional capacity, so we encourage localities to take a look at other cities’ solutions and explore how these funds could benefit their own community.”