Gov. Jared Polis amends, extends disaster declaration for I-70 damage in Glenwood Canyon

Posted at 9:51 PM, Sep 01, 2021

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis amended and extended a disaster declaration issued in response to the damage caused by devastating mudslides on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.

The executive order issued Wednesday extends the disaster declaration for an additional 30 days. The extension allows for the continued authorization of unarmed use of the Colorado National Guard and extends the suspension of certain procurement statutes.

The order was amended to add Moffat County as an affected county due to traffic impacts and also allows for the suspension of hours of service regulations for commercial drivers to expire.

The governor previously issued two disaster declarations in August. The other executive order enabled the state to seek federal funding, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Aug. 10.

The interstate was closed for over two weeks for “extensive damage” caused by multiple mudslides that began during heavy rainfall on July 29.

About 4 inches of rain fell on the area over the course of five days when the area typically sees an average of 2.4 inches of rain in the entire month of July.

The interstate reopened on Aug. 14, but it's down to one lane in both directions in the most heavily damaged part of I-70.

Work continues to repair the damage caused by the flooding and mudslides. On Friday, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced it awarded contractor partner, Colorado-based Lawrence Construction, the I-70 Glenwood Canyon Emergency Project. Work is scheduled Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and motorists should anticipate delays and intermittent closures during the work.

This current phase of the emergency project is $6.1 million.