Members of the Colorado Congressional delegation in the House of Representatives were pleased to see the passage of H.R. 3174 this morning. Last week, the House delegation introduced this bipartisan bill that lifts the cap on funds appropriated in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. Currently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) emergency relief funds are capped at $100 million per state and incident. This legislation lifts the cap for the purpose of rebuilding roads and bridges, many of which provide vital access to towns and communities that have since been cut-off due to the unprecedented flooding. Estimates now put the number of bridges that have been damaged or destroyed above 50. The Colorado Department of Transportation has estimated total state costs to rebuild damaged infrastructure could cost between $300 to $500 million.
"The floods washed away and damaged mile after mile of Colorado highways and byways. The loss of life and property have taken a toll on many, and I strongly urge Congress to act now to help rebuild the many roads and bridges -- some of which were the only way to access communities -- that were destroyed due to this historic flooding. Even with the passage of this legislation, our battle to lift the cap is not over. I urge the Senate to take up the House passed legislation as soon as possible to ensure that we can that we can rebuild these roads and bridges that serve as vital lifelines to many in Colorado." -- Rep. Cory Gardner (CO-04)
"Colorado has been reeling from the devastation caused by this unprecedented flood. Homes were leveled, entire roads were washed away, and towns were virtually destroyed. Yet, amidst sadness and loss, Coloradans are coming together to rebuild our lives and our communities. Today I am pleased to work with my colleagues from Colorado to ensure that we will have the resources we need to rebuild our roads. By lifting the cap and passing this bill along to the Senate for final approval, we are helping Colorado qualify for more help in rebuilding our roads and bridges. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that Colorado gets all of the assistance it needs as quickly as possible. " -- Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02)
"All across the state, residents have lost their homes, businesses have been devastated, and communities have been destroyed. From mountain highways, to bridges that connect towns and neighborhoods, to roads that are the only lifeline for isolated communities, over 200 miles of Colorado roads have been impacted by the flooding. If we remove the cap on the Federal Highway Emergency Relief Program, Colorado can get the assistance and relief it so urgently needs to rebuild. The Colorado delegation has joined together in this effort, and I urge all my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to come together with us and pass this critical bill." -- Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-04)
"We are not asking Congress to appropriate any additional money, we are simply asking that we be able to access funding that Congress has already approved and set aside for reconstruction after a natural disaster. This legislation has a Congressional Budget Office score of $0 -- meaning it does not add a dime to our national debt." -- Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
"I am happy the House came together today to pass H.R. 3184, which will help Colorado recover and rebuild from the damage done to its infrastructure by these devastating floods." -- Rep. Coffman (CO-06)
"As the flood waters recede, communities across Colorado are facing the daunting task of rebuilding not just homes, but the critical roads, bridges and infrastructure that connect us. Our delegation worked hard to ensure our there is some certainty for our communities to know our nation is willing to commit resources to help us rebuild in a safe and timely way so people can return to their businesses, homes and families." -- Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)