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Federal Funding To Help Repair I-70 Through Glenwood Canyon & Other State Infrastructure

UPDATE: Traffic Moving Again Through Glenwood Canyon For First Time This Month After I-70 Closure Due To Mudslides

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - It's been officially one year since the Grizzly Creek Fire started near Glenwood Springs. Heavy rain this summer on the burn scar has pushed mounds of mud and debris onto Interstate 70.

The Highway Administration approved Colorado's request for aid to repair the road. The agency is releasing $11.6 million which is 10% of what the state wants to repair the interstate and train travel through Glenwood Canyon.

Mudslides Damaged I-70 In Glenwood Canyon In July 2021, A Media Tour Was Provided On The Closed Interstate On Aug. 5, 2021
(credit: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

It comes as the longer-term Infrastructure Act was passed by the U.S. Senate to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' delight.

"We are ready to go. We have new lanes new transit routes we have projects to provide more electric charging stations, so we're ready to go," he said.

The money the state is expecting, if it becomes law, is $5.7 billion over five years. It is to go for road repairs, sorely-needed bridge replacements, improving public transportation, those electric charging stations and $100 million to extend broadband internet reach throughout the state.

It is not only meant to improve the state's infrastructure, but it will create jobs to boost the economy which has suffered during the pandemic.

Mudslides Damaged I-70 In Glenwood Canyon In July 2021, A Media Tour Was Provided On The Closed Interstate On Aug. 5, 2021
(credit: CBS)

Polis added, "This will really help meet the transportation needs of the state which is a great part quality of life because not only is it over $600 per person in lost productivity for being stuck in traffic, but how do you put a price on missing your kids' soccer game or not being home in time for dinner."

If it requires passing through Glenwood Canyon that dinner might get quite cold.

The bill still has to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and be signed by President Joe Biden. Colorado's two senators voted for it, both are Democrats. In the House,
Colorado Republican Congressman Ken Buck tweeted, "A bad bill. It increases the national debt, puts taxpayers on the hook for its tab, and pushes the Green New Deal agenda."

The Colorado Department of Transportation has a strategic 10 year transportation plan which showcases dozens of projects statewide. CDOT has not prioritized which project would be first with the federal money.

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