CDOT assessing 'millions and millions' in road, bridge damage

1:09 PM, Sep 15, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - In the next few days, the Colorado Department will have a better idea of which roads and bridges area damaged - and to what extent.

As of Sunday, CDOT estimates a minimum of 30 state highway bridges are destroyed and 20 are seriously damaged by a historic flood that's wreaked havoc on Colorado for several days. The conditions of at least 20 bridges are unknown, spokeswoman Amy Ford said.

The levels of destruction are "truly unprecedented" and will cost "millions and millions" to repair, she said by phone Sunday.

"It will certainly be a triage list," she said.

The agency had more than 20 crews on the ground Sunday that drove or hiked into areas to assess damage ranging from mud-covered to impassable, thanks to gaping holes and fissures dropping off into rivers below. Fly-overs will be necessary in unreachable regions, such as areas of U.S. 34, U.S. 36 and state Highway 72.

For this reason, Ford couldn't say Sunday exactly what roads and bridges were in what conditions, nor when they would be cleared and fixed. More will be known early to mid- next week.

CDOT is cognizant winter months are right around the corner, adding a wrench in an already complex repair project. While nothing is set in stone, the agency may be able to enter into expedited contracts to hasten work before cold weather sets in, she said.

Projects taking precedent are those where:

• There is only one or a few connections leading in and out of a community.

• Roads/bridges are used by crews providing much-needed utility services, such as water and electricity.

For an updated list of closures, check CDOT's list, updated periodically: http://bit.ly/CDOTroadclosures.

(Copyright © 2013 Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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