Governor John Hickelooper and Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Don Hunt have announced the establishment of an infrastructure recovery force (IR Force) to clear, repair and reconstruct components of the state highway system that were damaged by the recent flooding by December 1st - before the onset of winter. The IR Force will also provide coordination and assistance to local government in reestablishing critical links to local roads, bridges, water, sewer, power, and communications.
The IR Force will accomplish recovery work through the rotational assignment of statewide CDOT maintenance, engineering, and support employees. In addition, CDOT personnel will be supplemented by private construction forces and National Guard. The Incident Command Structure will include several key support areas including operations, planning, logistics, finance/admin, communications, safety and liaisons to communities.
Work has already begun to continue assessment and begin repairs on the 200 lane miles of state highway and 50 bridges that have been destroyed, damaged or impacted by the flood. The Federal Highway Administration has made $35 million in “Quick Release” emergency fund relief available, and the CDOT Transportation Commission has allocated $100 million to begin initial repairs.
“With winter on our heels, we will be restoring routes to communities that currently have limited access,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt. “Over the next 60 days, our IR Force, with help from the contracting community, National Guard and our state and federal partners, will focus on removing debris and building temporary roads to improve access to as many impacted routes as possible. It is imperative that we restore as much highway infrastructure as possible in the next two to three months.”
To receive real-time updates about road conditions in a particular area, visit coloradodot.info and click on the Flood Information link. Updates are also available at cotrip.org or by calling the CDOT Flood Information line at 720-263-1589 or 511 from anywhere in the state.