Mark Udall, who has worked tirelessly to help Colorado rebuild in the wake of the recent, devastating flooding, welcomed the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's work with the town of Estes Park to restore road access. Udall's swift intervention cleared the way for the Bureau of Reclamation to draw down Lake Estes by 10 feet to allow the town to secure gravel for road repairs.
"The teamwork Coloradans have shown since the tragic flooding that claimed several lives, damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, and washed away hundreds of miles of roads and highways has been inspiring. I am gratified that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation heeded my call and was able to swiftly approve the drawdown of Lake Estes and contribute to Estes Park's rebuilding effort," Udall said. "I will keep working to cut red tape and ensure the federal government does everything it can to help Colorado rebuild better and stronger."
The gravel from Lake Estes will help rebuild more than three miles of Fish Creed Road, which partially in Estes Park's town limits and unincorporated Larimer County. The local source of gravel will avoid the need to truck in more than 150,000 cubic feet of gravel -- about 150 dump trucks worth -- on the already stressed roadways leading into Estes Park, U.S. Highway 34 and U.S. Highway 36.
"Receiving permission of the Bureau of Reclamation was the first essential step in rebuilding Fish Creek Road, part of the vital road infrastructure supporting access for our residents," Estes Park Town Administrator Frank Lancaster said. "We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received in encouraging a new flexibility in the federal process. We invite everyone in Colorado to join us in celebrating these critical steps in recovery and rebuilding and want all to know that Estes Park is open for business."
Udall has worked since the flooding began to ensure Colorado communities and agencies have every federal resource they need to save lives, protect homes and start the recovery process. He has proposed legislation to remove a problematic cap that limits the emergency transportation funds Colorado can access to rebuild the state's battered roads, bridges and highways in the wake of the recent flooding. Udall also has addressed the nation from the U.S. Senate floor to underscore not only the extent of the disaster itself, but also the resilience and strength Coloradans have shown in the wake of the floods.