Craig briefs: Aviation at forefront for grants in Colorado

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has authorized distribution of $19.7 million in state aviation fuel tax revenues through grants to 47 Colorado public use airports under the Aviation Discretionary Grant Program administered by the Division of Aeronautics of the Colorado Department of Transportation, according to a press release.

The grants ranged in size from $8,333 to $3 million. They represent State of Colorado participation in a wide variety of projects, totaling $68.3 million, to improve safety and infrastructure at airports across the state. Airport projects include matching funds — local, federal, or both — in order to receive Colorado discretionary aviation grants.

Craig/Moffat Airport received $8,333 for airfield and signage improvements.

“I am pleased to approve these grants and to see that we are continuing statewide efforts to upgrade our airports,” Hickenlooper said in the release. “The economic multipliers provided by our airports through the moving of people, goods and services are tremendous. CDOT’s vision is to help develop and maintain an efficient transportation system, and this grant program certainly helps put that vision into practice. This is an excellent partnership.”

A 2013 Economic Impact Study of Colorado Airports showed that the airports support 265,700 jobs statewide and create a total economic output of $37.6 billion annually.

The economic impact was significant in Northwest Colorado, with the Craig/Moffat Airport logging about $1.1 million in output in 2013, according to the study.

The statutorily-based grant program, which began in 1992, requires that all aviation fuel tax collections in Colorado must be returned to the aviation system through airport grants and other aviation projects of state interest.

Semi rolls near the base of Rabbit Ears Pass

No one was injured when a semi truck rolled Wednesday morning on U.S. Highway 40 near the base of Rabbit Ears Pass.

Emergency responders were called to the crash about 5:30 a.m.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said the driver of the semi fell asleep, and the rig went off the road. The driver got out on his own and was not hurt. He was given a ticket for careless driving.

The semi was hauling merchandise to Kmart in Craig, and the cargo included hazardous materials such as chemicals. A hazardous materials crew had to be brought in to help clean up the accident. U.S. 40 was closed for less than an hour during the afternoon while the accident was cleaned up.

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