The federal government is making more than $201 million available to states across the nation to cover costs incurred to repair roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural emergencies and catastrophic events. “Restoring transportation routes is vital for communities recovering from disaster,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says. “It is the first step to getting peoples’ daily lives back on track.”
Under the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief program, a total of $201,490,146 will go to 15 states, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and federal lands agencies to pay for damages caused by storms, flooding, hurricanes and other disasters and events. The funds will reimburse states to fix or replace highways, bridges and other roadway structures such as traffic signals and signs, guardrails and lighting. Also eligible are costs associated with detours, debris removal and other immediate measures necessary to restore traffic flow in impacted areas.
The 2009 Continuing Appropriations Act and the 2006 Department of Defense Appropriations Act both provide additional funding for the FHWA program, which Congress authorizes annually at $100 million. The program reimburses states for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid highways that were damaged in disasters and catastrophic failures.