Funding Sources for Transportation Infrastructure Repairs

A major source of funding for transportation-related flood recovery work is the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program.  This program supplements funds provided by the State, local agencies and other Federal agencies to help pay for unusually high expenses resulting from natural disasters.  Colorado is fortunate to have this federal funding assistance to help repair roads and bridges damaged by the 2013 Flood.  However, it is important to note that federal funding will not fully cover the cost of all road and bridge damages.

All flood-related emergency repairs will be fully paid for by the FHWA Emergency Relief.  Permanent repairs, however, will require a 20 percent match from the state or local governments.  Gov. Hickenlooper pledged to cover half of the local agencies federal match requirement and solidified his commitment with the passage of SB14-121.

Primary flood-related funding sources are as follows:

  • FHWA (Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program) – Congressionally allocated funding specifically dedicated toward emergency relief (includes funding for both emergency and permanent repairs). Although not a grant, this funding source is available to reimburse the state for eligible flood repair expenses.
  • FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) – From a transportation perspective, FEMA funding is primarily directed toward debris removal and private temporary access.
  • CDOT – The Transportation Commission has dedicated $100 million in contingency funding that essentially pays for flood repairs and is then reimbursed by FHWA Emergency Relief funding as discussed above.  This reimbursement process is typical for all federal funding.
  • State General Fund – Gov. Hickenlooper has committed to pay half the local match requirement for federal funding (approximately 10-percent of project costs).
  • Local Agencies- Each local agency is also required to front the cost of flood project improvements and then submit invoices for 80-percent reimbursement for permanent repair projects.  Local agencies are required to provide a 10-percent match to all federal funds received.  State funding will fulfill the other 10-percent match requirement as indicated above.