More than $685 million is headed to 31 states and U.S. territories to pay for roads and bridges damaged by recent hurricanes, flooding and storms, Acting U.S. Transportation Secretary Maria Cino announced recently.
"These funds are crucial to restoring communities and getting local economies back on track," said Cino.
The Transportation Department's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will reimburse states for expenses associated with 56 emergency situations. The projects paid for by the funds include reconstructing or replacing damaged highways and bridges, establishing detours, removing debris and replacing signs, lighting and guardrails. Heavy rainfall and flooding caused much of the road and bridge damage.
"Our priority after a natural disaster or emergency is repairing the transportation network so local communities can rebuild, businesses can reopen and people can resume their lives," said Federal Highway Administrator Richard Capka.
This announcement is part of an emergency supplemental appropriations package passed by Congress and signed by President Bush that supplements FHWA's emergency relief program. The program is available to reimburse states for certain costs resulting from natural disasters or other emergencies.