Rep. Boebert Surveys the Mudslide Damage that Closed I-70
Today, led by and at the request of Rep. Lauren Boebert, the Congresswoman, Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes, Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, Colorado State Representative Janice Rich, and Colorado State Senator Ray Scott were given a tour of the I-70 mudslide damage by CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew, CDOT Regional Commissioner Cathy Hall, and a number of CDOT and Forest Service officials.
Rep. Lauren Boebert stated: “I am grateful to all the contractors and CDOT employees who are working around the clock to reopen this critical artery for Western Colorado and the West. Having an opportunity to see this catastrophic disaster firsthand has reinforced the severity of this event and the need for long-term resiliency. I will continue leading the charge to get I-70 fully reopened while collaborating with regional stakeholders to find viable solutions moving forward.”
Rep. Boebert has been leading the charge to get I-70 reopened, following severe mudslide damage that forced the closure of this major interstate. All four lanes of traffic were covered by huge piles of debris, and some of the interstate’s concrete support structures appeared severely damaged. Additionally, the highway itself was damaged, and it will need extensive repairs.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is confident that, with the support of federal resources, it will be able to have at least one lane of traffic going in each direction clear by this Saturday. However, it is likely to be several months before I-70 is fully repaired.
On Saturday, Rep. Boebert joined the entire bipartisan and bicameral Colorado congressional delegation in sending a letter to the Department of Transportation requesting assistance from the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program to respond to the Glenwood Canyon mudslides that damaged Interstate 70. In response, the Department of Transportation granted 11.6 million in initial Emergency Relief for Federal-aid Highways to go to reopening I-70 and potentially could provide up to $116 million per the delegation and Governor’s request.
Rep. Boebert is continuing to lead Colorado’s House of Representatives delegation in a draft letter calling on President Biden to approve Governor Polis’ request for a federal Stafford disaster declaration. Once the Governor has made this request the delegation letter will be sent. Once approved, this will open up even more federal funding for costs associated with reopening I-70.
Rep. Boebert has been actively monitoring the I-70 mudslides, and she received a briefing from Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Transportation last Monday. She pledged to offer her full support and to work to secure federal disaster assistance, and she’s delivered on that promise by securing initial funding from the Department of Transportation and by continuing to lead on the emergency declaration effort.