WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner announced Wednesday nearly $1.5 million in U.S. Department of Transportation emergency relief funding for Colorado to rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by natural disasters.
The funding will go in part toward repairs of Colorado Highway 145, a section that was destroyed in late May when two boulders tumbled onto the highway northeast of Dolores. Of the $1.5 million, $1.2 million will be used to repair the rockfall damage on the highway, and $257,757 will be used to repair the damage caused from extreme flooding in 2017.
“After severe flooding and rockfall, communities in Colorado need funding for critical infrastructure repairs,” Gardner said in a news release. “These funds will help our state recover, and I’ll continue to advocate for federal funding and programs to aid states in addressing damages from natural disasters.”
According to the Grant Advance Notice released by the Department of Transportation on Aug. 30, the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program is dedicating money specifically for the flooding in 2017, paying the “unusually heavy expenses” to the agencies that manage road reconstruction and restore the roads to “pre-disaster” conditions. Similarly, the Emergency Relief program within the Federal Highway Administration is funding repairs for the State Highway 145 rockfall.
Colorado is no stranger to natural disasters. Fires, flash flooding and falling boulders all take a toll on infrastructure. The funding package is intended to relieve the burden of those damages.
Ayelet Sheffey is a student at American University in Washington, D.C., and an intern for The Durango Herald.