Lt. Governor Primavera Verbally Declares Disaster Emergency to Provide Support for U.S. Highway 50 Bridge

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

DENVER - Today, as acting Governor, Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera verbally declared a disaster emergency to support the response and recovery for the U.S. Highway 50 bridge over Blue Mesa Reservoir at Dillon Pinnacles. This establishes a coordinated framework for an interagency, statewide response to build on the leading efforts of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), engage other state agencies as areas of expertise are needed, and implement the State Emergency Operations Plan. The State Emergency Operations Plan supports a coordinated approach among state agencies. The declaration also initiates processes for requesting federal assistance, including supplemental highway funding.  

CDOT has been inspecting the bridge and assessing potential repair options as well as supporting traffic operations and working to improve local roads so they can carry more traffic while the closure of U.S. Highway 50 separates the towns of Gunnison and Lake City from Montrose to the west. The Colorado Transportation Commission has already approved an emergency request allowing up to $10 million of expenditures on repair and remediation, including utilizing CDOT’s contractors to strengthen Gunnison County Road 26 to serve as a shorter detour. That work is already underway. 

The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center is activated to support resource requests and provide technical assistance to impacted counties. This declaration will help support these efforts, alongside other ongoing efforts.

Lt. Governor Primavera is serving as acting Governor while Governor Polis leads the delegation for the Biennial of Americas Summit.