WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has pledged $3 million in quick release emergency funds to offset costs associated with traffic management services and repairs to infrastructure needed as a result of damage caused by wildfires in Lahaina on the island of Maui earlier this month.
The Highway Department of Transportation (HDOT) had requested that amount, according to a news release.
“The nation watched with broken hearts as wildfires took lives and livelihoods in Maui — and the nation will stand with Maui as it rebuilds,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This emergency funding will help residents get transportation networks back up and running with traffic signal replacements, erosion control, guardrails, and more – and we will continue work to protect communities against these increasingly frequent climate disasters.”
Wildfires that started on Aug. 8 resulted in catastrophic damage and loss of life in Lahaina. On Aug. 10, President Biden declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the wildfires.
“The Federal Highway Administration has been in close contact with HDOT and will remain so in order to bring the support needed in West Maui,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “The quick release funding we are providing today will help emergency service personnel, police, and other first responders obtain the equipment needed for traffic management in Lahaina and the surrounding area, as well as resources for repairs to infrastructure in the future.”
The funding will be used for various items that will aid in recovery or to replace damaged and destroyed infrastructure, including portable battery-operated traffic signals; traffic signals; erosion control of damaged areas; signs; guardrails; jersey barriers to reroute traffic and protect pedestrians and workers; and traffic management services by the police, according to the news release.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.