Bennet, Udall Welcome $1.6 Million FRA Grant to Restore Great Western Railway Following 2013 Floods

Senators Advocated in Support of Grant Application

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall today welcomed the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) announcement that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will receive a $1,656,401 grant to help restore the Great Western Railway that was devastated by severe flooding last September.

Both Senator Bennet and Senator Udall sent letters to FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo in support of CDOT’s grant application.

“The work to restore the Great Western Railway is a perfect example of Colorado’s resilience following last year’s floods,” Bennet said. “While Colorado communities continue to rebuild better than before, this grant will help ease the financial burden associated with the repair work, freeing up resources for other critical recovery projects.”

“Colorado has made tremendous strides recovering since the September 2013 flood — and I have been proud to lead efforts to secure federal funds to help rebuild Colorado's transportation network,” Udall said. “These funds will ensure that Great Western Railway of Colorado and its lines through Weld, Larimer and Boulder counties are rebuilt stronger and better. I will keep fighting to help Colorado recover, but this $1.65 million is an important milestone for our transportation network.”

Freight rail services along Great Western Railway were disrupted for nearly two months, including three weeks of suspended operations, due to complete washouts of the railroad in addition to heavy damage to equipment and infrastructure. This grant will help cover the costs to repair railroad tracks, bridges, and equipment and remove debris at locations throughout Boulder, Larimer, and Weld counties.

Bennet and Udall have led efforts to secure recovery aid for Colorado communities devastated by the 2013 floods. The senators led the effort that successfully lifted the cap on the amount of emergency transportation resources Colorado could access to rebuild damaged infrastructure. Their efforts also helped secure federal funding to restore Colorado’s watersheds following the floods. Additionally, the senators led efforts to secure more than $250 million from HUD’s CDBG-DR program to finance ongoing flood recovery work in Colorado.