FHWA releases $1.5 million in emergency relief funds for rock slide damage in Colorado, Idaho

Updated Mar 14, 2016
Colorado Department of TransportationColorado Department of Transportation

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has released emergency relief funds for repair work needed after rock slides affected highways in Colorado and Idaho in February.

Colorado gets $1 million to help with work on both the eastbound and westbound sections of I-70 near Glenwood Springs. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) officials closed the interstate in the area following a rock slide on Feb. 15. Roughly 17,000 vehicles a day pass through the area, and traffic was detoured 150 miles through Steamboat Springs.

CDOT is installing fencing along the barrier walls, removing damaged guardrails and walls and is working to stabilize slopes before repair work begins.

The rock slide in Idaho occurred Feb. 18 and caused damage to a 500-foot section of SH 14 in Idaho County between Grangeville and Elk City. FHWA’s $500,000 will help repair the highway that provides the only access for residents of four cities in the area during the winter. A detour is in the works.

FHWA’s emergency relief program provides “quick release” funds for highways and bridges damaged by catastrophic events or natural disasters to help start repair work and to help agencies make continuing damage assessments.

The program is authorized for $100 million annually through contact authority from the Highway Trust Fund’s Highway Account, but congress can appropriate more when needed. For example, $410 million was released last December for road and bridge repair projects in 33 states.

The FAST Act continued the $100 million annual funding authorization for fiscal years 2016-2020.