U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the immediate availability of $1 million in Emergency Relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to help repair damage to I-70 caused by a rock slide near Glenwood Springs.
“Emergency relief funding will help Colorado make the repairs necessary to ensure I-70 is fully operational again,” said Secretary Foxx. “We will work quickly to help get the thousands of drivers who depend on this route back on the road.”
Early on February 15, the rock slide occurred in Garfield County’s Glenwood Canyon area, significantly damaging I-70 on both the eastbound and westbound sections. CDOT closed I-70 in both directions immediately afterward to keep the traveling public safe. Rock scaling operations are underway, along with efforts to stabilize the slope before repairs can begin. Crews are working to install fencing along the barrier walls and to remove damaged walls and guardrails.
On a daily average, about 17,000 drivers use this route through Glenwood Canyon, including an estimated 2,100 trucks. The interstate closure requires a detour through Steamboat Springs about 150 miles away.
“Emergency Relief funding will help Colorado address the needed repairs immediately on this vital transportation link,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “We are providing the first installment today, but, as damage estimates become clearer, we plan to make additional federal resources available.”
The state will receive $1 million in initial, or “quick release,” funds to begin the important repair work expected to last several weeks and to make further damage assessments. The FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.