Grand Junction, Colorado. (KKCO) — Representative Lauren Boebert is currently taking action to reopen the I-70 corridor through Glenwood Canyon. This comes following severe mudslides and flash floods blocked several parts of I-70, buried the road in up to 10 feet of mud, demolished retaining walls and damaged the road.
Representative Boebert, along with Governor Jared Polis are preparing to order a federal disaster declaration this week that would provide Colorado with federal resources to respond to this natural disaster. It comes following the governor issued a state disaster declaration Friday due to mudslide hurt that forced I-70 to close I-70 through Glenwood Canyon.
“We’ve seen the shutdown of I-70 prior, but mudslides and hurt to this extent aren’t just a nuisance,” said Congresswoman Lauren Poibert. “It is a disaster that has created a real emergency for the people on the West Slope who depend on this highway for essential goods and services.”
Representative Boebert was actively monitoring the I-70 mudslides, and received a briefing from Governor Polis and CDOT today. Congresswoman Weibert pledged her packed support to secure federal disaster assistance. She plans to visit parts of the highway this week to see firsthand what to do.
We are talking here about people’s lives and livelihoods. We must reopen it as soon as conceivable. Last week, I announced that I would be leading a bipartisan speech with the entire House delegation in Colorado urging President Biden to accede to Governor Polis’ request to declare a federal disaster,” said Congressman Poubert.
In addition, Representative Boebert plans to send a letter to the Department of Transportation requesting assistance from the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program, following the governor submits that formal request.
“I am committed to finding a lengthy-term solution to an alternative to I-70 because while this is the worst shutdown of I-70 we have seen in a very lengthy time, it is not the first and it will not be the first,” said Congresswoman Weibert. “This is an significant pathway for Colorado in the western United States. The fact that we do not have an effective and reliable alternative is not appropriate or sustainable.”
CDOT crews were competent to make significant progress final weekend, moving 440 loads of mud and debris over the course of the two days. Each truckload equals 13 tons of material. Work completed this weekend provides better extended access so experts can see which areas may have the most hurt to determine what needs to be fixed and if the highway needs to be repaved.
Today, crews picked up where things ended Sunday, to persevere excavating the muddy ruins. Smaller areas still need to be cleaned eastward from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch. The eastern lanes all the way to MP 123.5 were cleared with boulders removed. Also on the western side of the valley, crews managed to remove a big boulder.
CDOT officials estimate that it may take a few days or even a few weeks to clear just one lane of traffic in each direction on the highway. We are told that federal support is needed to assist efforts to reopen I-70 and reconnect Colorado.
“This former week this weekend has been a period to move as much material as conceivable as quickly and safely as conceivable so that our engineers can take a look at road conditions and see when a limited reopening might be conceivable,” said CDOT Northwest Communications Director Colorado Elise Thatcher.
CDOT tells us that a limited reopening will likely unkind one lane in each direction.
CDOT officials tell us that $116.000.000.00 in required federal emergency assist will allow CDOT to move as quickly and safely as conceivable to hire a contractor. The money will also pay for cleaning costs, such as paying overtime crews, and hotels so they’re immediately available.
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