DENVER - Colorado could receive up to $450 million in federal emergency funds to rebuild federally maintained roads and bridges destroyed in the September floods. The cap for those repairs had been set at $100 million, but members of Colorado's Congressional delegation - from both political parties - worked to raise the cap after flooding devastated several communiities, such as Boulder, Lyons and Jamestown.
Raising the limit was included in the package that reopened the government. "These new funds will allow state and local road repair to happen even faster," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said. "This is a critical step for helping to rebuild our communities. We want to thank Colorado's delegation for working together, across party lines, to increase the Federal Highways Administration Emergency Relief Program cap."
Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Representatives Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner and Ed Perlmutter issued a joint press statement about the amendment to increase the cap.
Projects that will be eligible for the funding are those in areas that President Barack Obama included in his emergency declaration the day after flooding began on Sept. 11. That declaration opened the state up to receive several types federal assistance.
Not falling under the category for the Federal Highways Administration Emergency Relief Program is the damage caused in El Paso County by earlier storms, which washed out sections of U.S. 24.
Already, however, $8 million in emergency federal funds had been set aside for flood repair work on the U.S. 24 corridor in response to the flash floods in August. That money will be used to install larger culverts to capture floodwaters and increase slope stabilization.