DENVER — Since last week, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been focusing on rescue efforts in Larimer, Boulder, and Weld counties and across the northeastern plains. While the flooding continues in eastern Colorado, the water is subsiding in many areas and CDOT is expediting repairs in several areas. CDOT estimated approximately 30 bridges have been destroyed, 20 have serious damage, and the status of more roadways and bridges is still unknown due to lack of access.
“With winter on our heels, we need to focus on restoring routes to communities that currently have limited access,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt. “The work will be conducted by CDOT staff, emergency contractors, and National Guard where possible to remove debris, make necessary repairs, and begin building temporary roads to improve access to as many impacted routes as possible.”
In order to begin the response effort, CDOT is currently in the process of obtaining three response teams to help construct the temporary roads for U.S. 36 and State Highway 7 between Boulder and Estes Park, U.S. 34 between Loveland and Estes Park, SH 72 between US 93 and SH 119, and for impacted highways in eastern Colorado. CDOT will issue a request for proposals from the contracting community and will select the teams by Friday (Sept. 20) with work beginning next week.
In addition to the three response teams, additional contractors have begun response work on State Highway 119 between Boulder and Nederland as well as State Highway 14 between Ted’s Place and Walden. CDOT maintenance crews are also currently working on SH 72 as well as other areas around the state. Additional emergency contractors have been also been working on US 34 for emergency fixes at MP 114, Hwy 60/Hwy 257 for approach repairs, US 34 Glade Road to Dam Store, SH 14 and US 36 at St. Malo (MP 10.8) for debris removal.
CDOT has also been able to repair and reopen eastbound I-70 off-ramp to Quebec Street and State Highway 44 near Longmont. Lastly, CDOT plans to reopen SH 14 from Walden to Cameron Pass following repairs tomorrow.
According to TheDenverChannel.com, money to begin repairs will come from CDOT’s emergency fund. "Our transportation commission will be allocating the entire contingency fund that CDOT has, which is $100 million, to start paying for any of these repairs." a CDOT spokesperson said. CDOT also plans to tap into sources of funding provided by FEMA.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation immediately made available $5 million in emergency relief funds to help cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by the ongoing floods. FHWA will provide additional funds in the future as permanent repairs are identified and cost estimates are completed.
For more information on flooding impacts as they relate to state highways and interstates, visit www.coloradodot.info and view a map of road closures at http://google.org/crisismap/2013-boulder-floods.
Also view impact maps and photos on Esri’s Disaster Response page at www.esri.com/services/disaster-response/floods/colorado-flooding-maps.