Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced several significant improvements and resources for communities recovering from the historic September floods: the Colorado Department of Transportation will reopen a section of US 34 to residents; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will offer grants to repair flood-damaged water and waste systems and water quality testing and the Colorado Water Conservation Board will provide low-interest loans for water systems repairs; and a benefit concert on Sunday, Oct. 27 with several of Colorado's favorite musicians for flood recovery efforts.
"We are leveraging all available resources from the federal government, local businesses and communities to repair and rebuild Colorado after the historic September flooding," Hickenlooper said. "We want to thank everyone involved in helping impacted communities recover quickly. We have more work to do across the state, but our resolve is strong."
US 34 Road Recovery
Significant progress has been made on US 34 to reestablish access for residents only between Estes Park and Drake. As of noon Sunday, Oct. 20, US 34 will open from Estes Park to Drake for canyon residents to come and go at any time. Access to Drake is being restricted to residents only.
As of today over 80 percent of roads damaged by the September floods are open and CDOT is on pace to have all damaged roads open by Dec. 1. CDOT has completed inspections of the 411 state owned bridges impacted by the floods and the inspectors determined that 120 bridges are in need of repair and no bridges were destroyed. CDOT continues outreach to residents in other corridors to discuss progress on roadway construction.
Water Systems Recovery
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will facilitate $2 million in grant funding provided by the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority to help communities in FEMA-designated flood counties that sustained damage to drinking water and waste water systems. The Water Quality Control Division at CDPHE will review submitted applications and work with the Authority on the grant awards. The application provides grant criteria and the deadline is Nov. 8.
The Colorado Water Conservation Board will make available $15 million for low-interest loans and $1.65 million in grants to help water providers start repairing flood-damaged systems. The loans carry a 30-year term with 0 percent interest the first three years. Click here for more information.
Colorado Rising Benefit Concert
A benefit concert, Colorado Rising, has been organized by some of Colorado's best-known musicians to raise money for flood relief efforts. The Sunday, Oct. 27 concert will be at 1stBank Center in Broomfield. Musicians scheduled to perform include Dave Matthews, The Fray, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, DeVotchKa, Nathaniel Rateliff and members of The Lumineers.
All proceeds from the concert will go directly to LiveUnitedColorado.org, which was formed by United Way chapters across Colorado to help people affected by last month's deadly and devastating floods. Rival concert promoters AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Live Nation announced the concert, which is being presented by radio station KBCO and TV station KCNC.