Feds kick loose $1M for Glenwood Canyon repairs
The federal government will cover $1 million of the estimated $2 million to $5 million cost to repair damage to Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon from last week’s rockfall.
The funding will come from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Emergency Relief fund.
Colorado Department of Transportation officials said during last week’s closure of I-70 through the canyon that it would seek federal emergency assistance to help pay for the work.
A Feb. 15 rockslide closed the interstate completely for nearly a week, resulting in long detours for motorists through the northern or southern mountains.
One lane in each direction was reopened Thursday afternoon following four three days of pilot car operations, which led east and westbound motorists in alternating fashion through a six-mile stretch of the canyon near the Hanging Lake Tunnels.
CDOT estimates it will take another month before repairs are completed and both lanes can be fully reopen in both directions.
“These emergency funds are crucial to help CDOT quickly repair this busy stretch of I-70,” U.S. Michael Bennet, who helped secure the funds, said in a prepared statement.
“We will continue to work with CDOT to ensure it has the resources it needs to repair the road and restore access to Glenwood Canyon,” Bennet said.
Pace cars are still being used in the canyon to help control speeds and ensure safety in the two-lane, head-to-head traffic configuration.
CDOT officials said Thursday that intermittent traffic stops during the day remain likely as work continues to clean up the debris and make the needed repairs.
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A coalition of northwest Colorado local governments want more say-so in the plan to reintroduce wolves in the state, especially as it relates to the Western Slope.