According to an article in the Denver Post, Colorado will drain its road contingency fund of $100 million to begin repairing roads and bridges damaged by the state’s massive flooding.
Contractors were asked to submit bids for the repair work with the goal of having crews start work on the worst trouble spots as son as possible, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Ford said.
The $100 million – which is likely to be approved by the state transportation commission – is on top of the $35 million received from the U.S. Department of Transportation for emergency road and bridge repairs.
A large section of Colorado U.S. 34 completely washed out by flooding from the Big Thompson River in the Big Thompson Canyon in Larimer County. CDOT is targeting flood-damaged U.S. 34 and 36 and Colorado 72 and 119 for immediate fixes, Ford said. This could be anything from temporary bridges, detours maybe putting in gravel other than asphalt.
Federal officials put preliminary damage costs statewide for roads hit by the flooding at $40 million and $112 million for bridges. But Ford said the federal assessment doesn’t even scratch the surface of what will be needed for repairs. Major flooding across Colorado caused by heavy rain washed out or closed numerous highways and bridges in Boulder, Larimer, Weld, Denver, Gilpin, Clear Creek and Jefferson counties, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told media members.
Colorado 14, U.S. 34 and 36 were hit particularly hard, where roadway damage exceeds 20 miles on each road, he said.
Of the federal funding earmarked for the state, $25 million will immediately support efforts to re-open closed roads, provide detours and protect damaged structures. Another $5 million will go toward road and bridge repairs on federally owned lands, including Rocky Mountain National Park and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge, Foxx said