The federal government is making $679 million available immediately to states across the nation to cover costs incurred to repair roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural emergencies and catastrophic events, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Thursday, Oct. 23.
“When natural disasters strike, restoring transportation is the first stop on the road to recovery,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters said during a visit to Galveston, Texas.
The emergency relief funds will go to 28 states and Puerto Rico to pay for damages caused by storms, flooding, hurricanes and other disasters, including the summer 2008 Midwestern floods and Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. The funds will be used to reimburse states for fixing or replacing damaged highways and bridges, establishing detours, removing debris and replacing signs, lighting and guardrails.
“Transportation is important to communities struggling to return to a normal routine after a disaster,” said FHWA Administrator Thomas Madison.
The funds are part of the 2008 Disaster Relief and Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act that provided additional emergency relief funds. Congress also provides an annual authorization of $100 million for the program each fiscal year. A state-by-state breakdown of the emergency relief funds can be accessed here.