DOT gives states $20M for natural disaster repair

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday, May 7, announced $20 million for Oregon, Alabama and South Carolina to help cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

“The Obama administration is committed to helping communities return to normal after natural disasters – and that includes ensuring that friends and neighbors can get where they need to go safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These recovery funds will help reimburse states that needed to restore damaged roads and bridges in the days and weeks after natural disasters.”

The money will reimburse states for fixing or replacing highways, bridges and other roadway structures. Costs associated with detours, debris removal and other immediate measures necessary to restore traffic flow in affected areas also are eligible for reimbursement.

“Disasters can leave communities immobile as local agencies are left with a huge mess to clean up and a price tag to match,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “The department is committed to repaying states for work that was necessary to get traffic moving and people on their way.”

Oregon, Alabama and South Carolina will share a total of $20 million. Oregon will receive $15 million for cleanup from flooding, landslides and erosion that occurred across the state as a result of severe storms in January. Alabama will receive $3 million for the repair of the March 2010 sinkhole on Interstate 65 in Morgan County. South Carolina will receive $2 million for repairing the Laurens Street Bridge in Aiken after heavy rains caused erosion and closed the bridge in April 2012.

FHWA’s Emergency Relief program reimburses states for the repair and reconstruction of federal-aid highways and bridges that suffer serious damage as a result of natural disaster or catastrophic event. The funding helps pay for expenses resulting from extraordinary conditions.

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