U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has made the immediate availability of $1 million in emergency relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to help repair roads and bridges damaged throughout the state by severe rains that fell recently.
“Emergency relief funding will help the state begin immediately to recover from the damage caused by extensive rainfall,” said Secretary Foxx. “We want Washington’s residents to know that we understand how important it is to get these roads open so life in the Evergreen State can return to normal as soon as possible.”
Washington experienced a series of severe storms Nov. 13-18, resulting in major flooding, saturated soils, landslides and slope erosions. With the majority of the damage in the area north and northeast of Seattle, the state was forced to close several routes and limit traffic on others, causing concern for upcoming holiday travelers and those who need access to area ski resorts. The affected highways include SR 542, which serves the Mount Baker[external link] ski area in Whatcom County[external link], and US 2 which leads through Stevens Pass[external link]at the border of King County into the Cascade Mountains.
“The state should know that the funding provided today is only a down payment toward completing all the repairs on highways that business and recreational travelers and the tourism industry all rely upon heavily during this time of year,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “Additional resources will become available as the state continues to assess the damage.”
The $1 million will be used toward infrastructure repairs to restore essential traffic as the state continues to determine specific repair needs. Preliminary estimates are in excess of $5 million.
The FHWA's Emergency Relief program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.