U.S. Transportation Secretary Offers $232M in Emergency Relief for Road/Bridge Repairs

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced $232.5 million in Emergency Relief (ER) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help 26 states and Puerto Rico repair roads and bridges damaged by storms, floods and other unexpected events.

“We are committed to getting transportation facilities restored as quickly as possible following natural disasters and other emergencies,” said Secretary Foxx. “These funds will certainly repair  roads and bridges, but most importantly, they are helping people who rely on them every day to arrive at their jobs and pick up their children at school.”

FHWA’s ER program reimburses states for eligible expenses associated with damage from natural disasters or other emergency situations based on their requests.  The funds help to pay for the reconstruction or replacement of damaged highways and bridges along with the arrangement of detours and replacement of guardrails or other damaged safety devices.

According to Beyond Traffic, a report issued by the Department in February, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that approximately $77 billion in annual investment is needed to meet the needs of our federal-aid highway system.  In addition, there are 60,000 miles of coastal roads in America that are exposed to flooding from heavy rain and storm surges.  Low-lying road infrastructure is particularly vulnerable to storm surges and bridges— because they often cross or are near bodies of water— are vulnerable to storm surges.

“We want states to know that they can go ahead and expedite repairs where they are needed most following a disaster and that they will be repaid,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "It is our top priority to help states and their communities that have been hurt by storms like these -- so their residents can get back to traveling freely and safely again.”

At $55 million, Colorado topped the list among states reimbursed through the ER program –for a single flood event that caused widespread damage throughout the state, most of which is in the Boulder area. 

Arizona also received $36 million for a slope failure on US 89 in Coconino County and Ohio $34 million for rock fall damages on SR 7 in Jefferson County.  Both Alabama, in Baldwin and Mobile Counties, and Tennessee, south of Nashville, are repaid for repairs on two bridges on I-65 damaged by truck fires.

Delaware received funding to fix damaged piers on the I-495 bridge spanning the Christina River near the Port of Wilmington. Twenty other states received funding for extensive flooding, rainfall and other eligible events as well.   

Click here for a full list of projects.