News and Press Releases Thursday, August 11, 2022

ACHD Awarded $5M Federal RAISE Grant for Access to Opportunity Project

The Ada County Highway District is proud to announce the successful application of a $5M grant to create access to new opportunities for residents living within three historically disadvantaged communities in Ada County.

The District applied for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary grant program in April to fund the design of the District's "Access to Opportunity" planning project. The projected total for the project is nearly $6.5M, of which the District committed to matching 22.2% with local funds.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the District as one of three grant award winners in the Treasure Valley. ACHD joins the City of Nampa and partner agency, Valley Regional Transit as successful applicants.

ACHD's Access to Opportunity project spans Boise's Central Bench, West Bench and from the Fairgrounds to the Connector in Garden City. The total length of the twelve planning projects is over 10.5 miles and includes designing projects to fill in gaps in sidewalk and low-stress bike facilities, signalizing crossings, and improve ADA accessible pedestrian ramps and signals. Additionally, ACHD will design upgraded transit bus stops, and evaluate green stormwater infrastructure to prevent runoff from entering the Boise River.

"Our future work in the three selected areas will have a positive impact on the county as a whole," said ACHD Planning and Program Manager, Tom Laws. "With this funding and through these projects, ACHD will have the opportunity to further develop an active transportation network, remove barriers, improve safety, and provide more transportation alternatives."

ACHD's Access to Opportunity project will complete the design of 12 projects that, when built, will remove barriers and provide residents with the opportunity to use active transportation options, furthering access to employment, schools, healthcare, daycare, healthy food, shopping and recreation. Additionally, the District expects the projects to unite these communities by providing critical links across the Boise Bench and Greenbelt.

Access to Opportunity is a shared vision between ACHD, the City of Boise, Garden City and the respective neighborhood associations.

"We are honored to be chosen for this prestigious grant and look forward to making significant change in these three communities," said ACHD Transportation Funding Coordinator, Tom Ferch. "We owe the success of this grant to many and would especially like to thank our partners who helped to bring this Access to Opportunity vision to life through years of collaboration and letters of support."

"This project is an investment in not only our infrastructure, but our community members. Our team continues to innovate by identifying creative solutions for transportation challenges throughout the Valley," said Commission President Mary May. "We are thrilled with this award and look forward to the sustainable and equitable impacts Access to Opportunity will have for all Ada County residents. Great things happen when people work together!"

Learn more about the District's Access to Opportunity projects and the grant process.


Shandy Lam
Deputy Director of Communications

Rachel Bjornestad
Public Information Officer

Christy Foltz-Ahlrichs
Sr. Communications Specialist

Emma Bowers
Digital Media Coordinator

ACHD Main Line 208-387-6100
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