U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced $1 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to begin repair work to roads and bridges in Arizona, California and Nevada damaged by floods last month. The ER funds are a down payment on repair costs, which officials said may top $12 million.
A series of intense thunderstorms moved through southern California, southern Nevada and western Arizona earlier this month, severely damaging roads and bridges owned by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) spanning the three states. The floods caused loss of several primary routes through the areas, and caused heavy damage to more than 20 miles of roads. More than 100 miles of roads were closed by debris left by the floodwaters, in some cases six feet deep.
The closure of primary entrance routes to Death Valley National Park and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge has limited nearly all emergency access for residents and visitors alike, compromising their safety and impacting the region’s economy.
The funds from FHWA's Emergency Relief program will reimburse the NPS and USFWS for emergency work done to repair the flood-damaged highways and bridges and reopen temporarily closed routes.