FHWA comes to the rescue after Hurricane Isabel

News AASHTO Journal October 06, 2003
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To help Virginia's Tidewater region recover from the damage of Hurricane Isabel two weeks ago, the Federal Highway Administrati

To help Virginia's Tidewater region recover from the damage of Hurricane Isabel two weeks ago, the Federal Highway Administration presented the Virginia Department of Transportation with a $1 million down payment to reopen the Midtown Tunnel and restore normal traffic flow in the region.


FHWA Administrator Mary Peters presented the down payment letter to VDOT Commissioner Philip Shucet in a ceremony at the tunnel, which also was attended by U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Va.) and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim.


"The Midtown Tunnel is a vital link in the Norfolk/Hampton Roads transportation infrastructure, and we want Norfolk, Hampton Roads and every community that felt Isabel's wrath back on track as quickly as possible," Peters said.


Under FHWA's Emergency Relief Program, states can apply for funds to repair the damage on federal-aid highways caused by natural disaster or catastrophic events. The FHWA can fund 100% of eligible repairs.


About 35,000 vehicles a day pass through the tunnel under the Elizabeth River between Norfolk and Portsmouth. The tunnel has been closed since it was flooded by Hurricane Isabel.


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