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With Highway 119 Back Open, Crews Move Onto Next Projects

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Crews work on a highway damaged by flooding (credit: CBS)

Crews work on a highway damaged by flooding (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – Highway 119 is now back open, which is great news for those who live in the area or who are trying to get to Estes Park, but the Colorado Department of Transportation still faces a long list of roads needing repair.

The damage is still widespread across highways 4, 7, 36 and 72, but CDOT says they’re deadline of Dec. 1 is right on track.

“I think our biggest concern right now is potentially the weather,” Amy Ford with CDOT said. “This is something that we’ve never experienced; it’s unprecedented on its scale.”

Nearly 200 hundreds of miles of crucial highway and 50 bridges are needed as soon as possible.

“The plan of attack for us was all things all at once,” Ford said.

More than 30 crews are working non-stop across more than four main highways. The main priority right now is connecting communities.

“There are some that we can deal with and manage very quickly and there are others that obviously are going to be a heavier lift,” Ford said.

Ford says Colorado’s supply of asphalt, cement, rocks and base, for now, has met the demand.

“We are working with the supplies within the state,” Ford said. “We are also looking at whether or not we need to reach out to surrounding states.”

Up next to open is likely Highway 72 in Jefferson County possibly in November, Their goal for all roads remains at Dec. 1. But the roads will likely be temporary two-lane highways.

“These roads might not look like what you’ve experienced before.”

Ford says the silver lining is that once the roads are open CDOT can then think long term.

“For us, that’s things like, how do we build it better?”

From flood resistant to bike lanes, Ford says down the road things will be better.

“We still have a lot of work to do yet.”

In addition to opening Highway 119, this weekend crews restored temporary access for homeowners who live up Highway 36 into Pinewood Springs.

Colorado Floods: How To Help

The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.

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