It could take several years before roads damaged during September’s disastrous floods are completely restored.

In the meantime, contractors and crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation are repairing stretches of roadway and clearing debris in advance of a governor-mandated December 1 deadline by which state highways needed to be reopened. The Denver Post reported that early road fixes might simply include the use of gravel in some areas but that long-term rebuilds could take years to finish.

Colorado, the Post says, is using $450 million in federal funds for the emergency work in places that include Colorado 72, through Coal Creek Canyon. That highway has been closed since September 12.

Repairs on Colorado 119 between Boulder and Nederland have gone faster than initially anticipated. The highway opened one lane to traffic earlier this month after flooding damaged up to 20 percent of the road, including some portions that were entirely wiped out.

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