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Colorado residents may soon have access to roads destroyed during floods this month.
Crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and National Guard troops began work Sunday to repair several main highways for mountain towns, the Associated Press reported.
The roads will need to be fixed quickly because winter conditions such as frost and snow will make repairs more difficult.
Jerre Stead, the corporate executive overseeing recovery efforts, and CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt said the state has a goal of completing temporary repairs by December 1, and they told the AP they are optimistic crews will reach the goal.
Hunt said the most difficult task will be getting construction equipment into damaged areas and keeping workers and travelers safe from falling rocks.
An NPR report last week estimated repairs to cost more than $500 million. However, officials told the AP this week that the repairs will cost more than $100 million, though they said they still don’t know how much time it will take to figure an exact cost.
The floods destroyed about 200 miles of state highway and 50 bridges.
The state is expected to award contracts for emergency repairs today.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) made available $5 million in emergency funds earlier this month.
CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford told the AP the federal government will reimburse Colorado up to $100 million for highway repairs, but state officials want the federal government to raise that to $500 million, the cap for many states after Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012.