DENVER - Colorado will pick up the tab for National Guard engineers helping rebuild the main highway leading to Rocky Mountain National Park because of the federal government shutdown.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday that Colorado will use its flood disaster fund to pay the 120 soldiers working on U.S. Highway 36 in hopes that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will later agree to reimburse 75 percent of the cost. He expects the state share to be between $10,000 and $20,000 a day.
A bill passed by Congress protects payments for active-duty personnel but Colorado officials don't believe that covers soldiers assigned to training missions building roads.
Still undecided is whether Colorado will also pay Guard members from Utah, Kansas and Wyoming who are scheduled to be brought in later to do road work.