WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will award $1.39 billion in Emergency Relief (ER) funds to help 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to make repairs to roads and bridges damaged by a variety of storms, floods, wildfires and other events.
“Emergency relief funding is critical to restoring vital transportation links damaged by severe weather and other unexpected events that are heavily relied upon by communities for daily travel,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack.
Deputy Administrator Pollack added that the new programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — including the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program — “will advance the use of materials and structural techniques to ensure highways are better prepared to withstand weather events and natural disasters.”
The emergency relief program “complements Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and provisions through its encouragement that agencies identify and implement measures to make the restored infrastructure more resilient and better able to withstand damage from future events,” according to a USDOT news release.
“Further, FHWA is updating its ER Manual for 2022 to spotlight the program’s impact on improvements to system resilience and the equity of infrastructure spending.”
FHWA’s ER Program provides funding reimbursement to states, territories, federal land management agencies and tribal governments for the reconstruction, restoration and repair of federal-aid and federally-owned transportation facilities that have suffered damage from natural disasters or catastrophic failure from external causes.
The news release notes that “the allocation will help facilitate recovery from nearly 200 different emergency events, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico; storms and flooding in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, California, Alabama and Kentucky; and many others. The funds will help pay for the reconstruction or replacement of damaged highways and bridges along with the arrangement of detours and replacement of damaged safety devices.”
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