PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- U.S. Senator Cory Gardner is was in the Steel City on Thursday to discuss an announcement nearly six decades in the making.
Back on Tuesday Senator Gardner announced that he had secured $28 million in funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit project. The funding stems from the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation and comes after months of requests from Gardner, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Reps. Ken Buck and Scott Tipton.
The conduit was first authorized back in the 1960's by President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy even visited Pueblo back in 1962 to sign the bill approving the project, and gave a speech at the city's football stadium. What is known today as Dutch Clark Stadium.
“To hear Kennedy talk about this pipeline that was almost 60 years ago," said U.S. Senator Cory Gardner to KRDO Thursday. "To think that it didn't come until 2020, I don’t know if Kennedy thought it would take this long, but we are actually starting to make real progress.”
The conduit is a 130-mile water pipeline connecting the Pueblo Dam to Lamar, and it aims at providing fresh water to near 40 communities in Southeast Colorado -- rural communities facing water quality problems.
“This is going to help these communities stabilize their water costs. It’s going to allow them to talk about people moving into their communities," said Gardner. "And ultimately attracting new businesses cause they now have abundant affordable clean water.”
Gardner told the Pueblo Chieftain on Tuesday the $28 million will help finish the final design, pre-construction costs, and begin construction to get to the city of Boone. However, the money approved would not complete the entire project.