Colorado seeks aid for I-70 clean up

| Monday, August 29, 2005

Gov. Bill Owens signed an emergency declaration Friday, Aug. 26, that would allow Colorado to seek an estimated $2.1 million in federal aid to clean up recent rockslides on Interstate 70.

Three rockslides hit I-70 west of Idaho Springs, CO, earlier this month. Heavy rains triggered the slides that occurred during a 24-hour period and closed all lanes of the highway.

Although the highway was reopened five days after the massive slide, the Colorado Department of Transportation has more work to do to stabilize the area.

The state will ask for federal emergency relief funding to help cover the cost to clear debris, repair the highway and assistance for rock removal that’s needed.

“These measures will ensure the safety of motorists for the time being. However, additional mitigation will ultimately be required for the long-term solution,” CDOT Regional Director Jeff Kullman told TheDenverChannel.com.

Rockslides are leading to an increase in part of the transportation agency’s budget for next year. The state will spend $3 million trying to fix high-priority zones where major slides are expected to occur.

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