More than $23 million has been awarded for a project repairing Colorado’s U.S. Highway 550, otherwise known as the Red Mountain Pass.
That highway in southwest Colorado suffered severe damage in 2013 from both floods and a rockslide.
The funding to repair the highway is coming from the federal Department of Transportation and is one of more than 75 individual disaster infrastructure projects in 34 states securing grant support.
Altogether, the Transportation Department is awarding just short of $706 million in bridge and road repair funding.
In a statement, Elaine Chao, the Secretary of the Transportation Department, said the money was needed to help states making “critical repairs to their transportation infrastructure following natural disasters such as wildfires, storms, and floods.”
The funding is designed to pay for both the reconstruction and replacement of bridges, as well as highways damaged by natural disasters.
The Colorado rockslide was the result of unprecedented flooding in the southwest corner of the state. An additional rockslide in the Red Mountain Pass occurred last year.
In a statement, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet noted that the Colorado Department of Transportation has already taken on the repair of the Red Mountain Pass, but remarked, “There is more work to do.”
Bennet added: “This funding will make it possible to complete final repair projects.”
According to Colorado DOT figures, the 2013 floods ultimately impacted more than 200 square miles of the state, including nearly 500 miles of state roadways.
Bu Garry Boulard
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