Governor John Hickelooper and Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Don Hunt announced the establishment of an infrastructure recovery force (IR Force) to clear, repair and reconstruct components of the state highway system caused by the recent flooding by December 1, before the onset of winter. The IR Force will also provide coordination and assistance to local government in reestablishing critical links to local roads, bridges, water, sewer, power, and communications.

Governor Hickenlooper said the IR force will have three primary objectives: speed, efficiency and to improve our transportation system.

Scot Cuthbertson, CDOT Deputy Director and Johnny Olson, current Regional Transportation Director for Region 4 – Greeley will command the IR Force which will adopt an Incident Command Structure. Heidi Bimmerle Humphreys will become acting CDOT Deputy Director while Myron Hora will become acting RTD for Region 4. Cuthbertson and Olson will be joined by a reassignment of CDOT staff to the IR Force whose mission will be focused on:

Response: Including debris clearing, temporary road building and portable bridges. The work will be conducted by CDOT staff, emergency contractors and National Guard where possible. This work will be conducted in the next few months.

Recovery: Including more traditional infrastructure construction which will occur over the next year to establish permanent roadways and bridges.

Work has already begun to continue assessment and begin repairs on the 200 lane miles of state highway and 50 bridges that have been destroyed, damaged or impacted by the flood. The Federal Highway Administration has made $35 million in “Quick Release” emergency fund relief available and the CDOT Transportation Commission has allocated $100 million to begin initial repairs.