State receives federal emergency funds for Glenwood Canyon day after request

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — The Federal Highway Administration announced Colorado will receive $11.6 million through its quick-release process, after receiving the request for funds Monday.

The amount is 10% of the total requested by Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Department of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew. The state requested $116 million in funding in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and FHWA Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack.

“We are thrilled to have such close coordination with our federal partners to ensure federal resources are quickly on their way to Colorado,” Polis said. “Crews and staff across state government are working in all-hands-on-deck mode to deal with the devastating damage to Glenwood Canyon and I-70, and having the same level of support from federal partners at the Federal Highway Administration ensures we can keep working at a rapid pace to restore this economic and recreation highway.”

Polis issued two disaster declarations for the Glenwood Canyon area after several mudslides caused extensive damage to Interstate 70. The declarations allow use of the Colorado National Guard and seek federal funding.

Here’s a look at what FOX31’s Evan Kruegel learned about what the funding will be used for:

Short term = $11 million
Medium term = $55 million
Long term = $50 million 

Short term:

  • Debris removal costs (includes maintenance staff costs) = $4 million
  • Supplemental traffic control services (contractor) costs = $1 million
  • Potential geohazard mitigation at several locations = $5 million
  • CDOT administration (non-maintenance staff) costs = $1 million (bleeds into medium as well)

Medium: 

  • Impacts to existing state highway alternate routes (as a result of I-70 closure) costs = $10 million
  • Visible damage estimates caused by event damage or debris removal hauling costs = $20 million
  • Assumed damage repair estimates (non-visible) costs = $20 million
  • Construction management and construction engineering costs = $5 million

Long:

  • Future resiliency and redundancy study and construction costs = $50 million

“CDOT’s maintenance teams have made great progress in recovery operations, allowing our engineers to make similar strides in developing a plan to reopen I-70,” Lew said. “Thanks to the fast and strong support of our federal delegation as well as the backing of FHWA, CDOT can continue to work quickly with the assurance that resources will remain available. I want to add a special thanks to FHWA Colorado Division staff who have provided technical support throughout this incident and helped smooth the process to help deliver this quick support.”

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