WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced Wednesday, Sept. 8, that it will give $5 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds to help the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) make repairs to roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Ida.
“The Biden administration is using every lever at our disposal to help the State of Louisiana respond to this tragic disaster, including these emergency relief funds,” said U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “We pledge to work closely with our state and local partners to help restore and rebuild the critical transportation infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Ida.”
Hurricane Ida made initial landfall in Louisiana Aug. 29 as a Category 4 storm. Following Ida’s landfall, Louisiana continued to experience high winds, storm surge and heavy rain. Significant flooding caused damage to highway and bridge infrastructure in more than 25 parishes throughout the state.
The quick release funds will be used to fund emergency repairs to federal-aid highways. The work will consist of stabilizing impacted roadway embankments, repairing and rebuilding damaged roads and bridges — including bridge scour — and replacing destroyed signage.
“FHWA will continue to work with Louisiana to provide technical assistance along with the necessary financial resources to make repairs promptly throughout the state and restore vital transportation links,” said acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack.
FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” ER funds are an initial installment of funds toward restoring this essential transportation link. Additional funds from the Emergency Relief program may be available later to continue repairs to roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Ida.
This funding follows several other actions taken by USDOT and the entire federal government to address the impacts of Hurricane Ida. Several additional states were impacted by the storm, sustaining heavy damage and deaths because of tornadoes, storms and flooding.