Feds to reimburse states for emergency repairs

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More than $128 million from the Federal Highway Administration will reimburse states and other jurisdictions for recent emergency road and bridge repairs, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced.

“By rebuilding crucial roads and highways, these funds will help people to get back on the road and back to the relief of normal day-to-day life,” Peters said Wednesday, Sept. 5.

More than $24 million will help repair the Interstate 580 interchange in Oakland, Calif., that collapsed because of a truck fire in April 2007. At least $20 million will help repair Mississippi roads damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Illinois will receive almost $3 million in aid because of an I-74 truck fire in July 2007. Iowa will receive more than $4 million to repair damage from storms and flooding in May and June 2007. Massachusetts will receive almost $10 million for flood damage, most of it incurred in May 2006.

Washington state will receive $3.9 million to repair damage from the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. New Mexico will receive more than $4 million to repair damage from storms in summer 2006.

The funds will help reimburse states for the costs of construction, detours, debris removal and the replacement of signs, lights and guardrails.

The funds announced Sept. 5 are part of an $871 million appropriations package, signed into law by President Bush in September 2005, to supplement the FHA’s emergency relief program. To date, $803 million has been distributed, with the balance still available to states upon request.