The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $20 million to improve transportation connections between Driggs and Jackson, Wyo. through Teton Pass.

The two communities are connected via Idaho State Highway 33 and Wyoming 22. The money is part of DOT’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development program, and will help fund the Teton Mobility Corridor Improvements Project, U.S. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, all R-Idaho, announced Wednesday.

The three, who sent Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao a letter in July urging federal funding for the project, said in a joint statement that the money will fund improvements that “enhance mobility and commuter options for the local workforce, facilitate the arrival of new visitors and provide a sustainable transit link for the region’s mountain resorts, towns and public lands areas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.” Among other things, the money will be used for highway upgrades, buying six new commuter buses and building two transit centers and three park-and-ride facilities, including one in Driggs.

Driggs and Teton County, Wyo., submitted the grant application. In a statement, Driggs Mayor Hyrum Johnson thanked the three politicians, calling them “tireless advocates for the needs of Idahoans and Idaho cities,” as well as Chao.

“This grant award will directly improve the safety and livability of our town, allowing us to expand and improve our pedestrian transit facilities and to make important safety improvements at several highway intersections,” he said.

The project is expected to cost $28 million in total, with the rest coming from other project partners, according to the Teton County, Wyo. news website Buckrail. The partners expected to contribute the most are Teton County, Wyo. and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Find original article at