The U.S. DOT recently announced the immediate availability of $9 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help repair roads damaged by flooding in Iowa.
“These emergency relief funds will help Iowa expedite the repair process and restore access to roads as quickly as possible following the devastating floods in the state,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, in a news release.
In March, 68 counties in Iowa experienced a major flood event, with the majority of the damage in the southwest portion of the state after some Missouri River levees were breached. Key federal-aid routes in the area were damaged, including I-29, I-680 and U.S. 34.
The $9 million in quick-release funding will be used to pay for the repairs done to restore essential traffic and prevent additional damage at locations impacted by severe flooding. An initial estimate of damage from this storm tops $90 million, with the damage on I-29 alone estimated at $40 million.
This initial quick-release payment is considered a down payment on the costs of short–term repairs while the state continues damage assessments for long-term repairs. The FHWA’s ER program provides funding for federally eligible highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.