Road crews are working in Texas and Louisiana to clear downed trees and power lines off bridges and roads, and two Interstate 10 bridges should open within days, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
His department is working with state officials to estimate the final cost of clearing Hurricane Rita debris off highways, so that emergency relief funds can be designated to pay for the work, Mineta said. “Our focus is on making sure state and local officials have the resources and support they need to repair, rebuild and reopen for business.”
In a road repair status report, Mineta said:
The I-10 bridge in Lake Charles, La., should reopen to traffic this week.
Repairs are ahead of schedule on the I-10 bridge in Pascagoula, Miss. Repairs should be completed the first week of October.
Interrupted by Rita, work has resumed on the I-10 twin span bridges between New Orleans and Slidell, La.
As of the morning of Sept. 26, the DOT has provided more than 580 relief shipments, including a tanker of diesel fuel, 5,040 rolls of plastic, 43,760 tarps, 540,000 gallons of water, 2.7 million meals ready to eat, 5,000 blankets, 21,000 cots and 73 generators, Mineta said.
The department also has provided more than 500 buses to return evacuees to the coast, Mineta said.