The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced Friday the immediate availability of $10 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for use as a down payment by the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).
The funding is designed to help offset costs to repair infrastructure damaged by last month’s flooding throughout the state.
FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding to States, territories, Tribes, and Federal Land Management Agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment of funds to help restore essential transportation.
"I saw firsthand the devastating effects of extreme flooding on people and businesses in Vermont, and increasingly frequent climate disasters have wreaked havoc on more and more American communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a press release. “This emergency funding will help the people of Vermont repair critical infrastructure as we continue working to support Vermonters in their efforts to recover and rebuild.”
“The Federal Highway Administration is working closely with VTrans to provide the necessary resources to restore essential transportation links,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “The quick release funding we are providing will help get those repairs done as soon as possible so people can get back to their daily lives.”
Secretary Buttigieg and Administrator Bhatt joined Governor Phil Scott, VTrans representatives, and other officials in Vermont last month to assess the damage to roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure, and offer federal support to help Vermont recover from the storms.
Catastrophic flash flooding and river flooding occurred across much of Vermont starting on July 7, continuing for weeks. Extensive flooding to communities, washouts of numerous roads and bridges, and even the occurrence of land and mudslides resulted in significant property losses.
The funding announced today will be used to support clearing mud and rockslides from the roadway; opening plugged culverts, repairing culverts and eroded shoulders, clearing material deposited by floodwaters onto structures, making repairs to damaged roadways and structures, and repairing and replacing guardrails.
The FHWA Emergency Relief program further complements Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and provisions by encouraging agencies to identify and implement measures to incorporate resilience in the design, restoration, and repair of damaged infrastructure, so that it can better withstand future damage from climate change and future weather events.
Source: U.S Department of Transportation