U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Thursday the immediate availability of $1 million in emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration to help begin road and bridge repairs damaged by Hurricane Matthew in South Carolina.
“Hurricane Matthew caused significant damage to South Carolina’s roadways and bridges, creating serious challenges for the local residents and taking a toll on the economy,” said Foxx. “We’re doing everything we can to support the state and local response to this disaster, and are working to restore emergency access and begin the most critical repairs.”
Hurricane Matthew skirted the coast of South Carolina earlier in October causing hurricane and tropical storm-force winds, heavy rain and flooding along the coast and far inland. North Carolina floodwaters are expected to cause rivers in South Carolina to overflow and result in additional flooding in the Palmetto State later this week. Damage to transportation infrastructure is already widespread in 13 counties in South Carolina.
The $1 million quick release will be used to primarily restore emergency access and begin the most critical repairs. The state is also ensuring that traffic is adequately maintained, damage surveys are accomplished, and that repairs and replacement of damaged highway facilities are expedited.
This initial “quick release” payment is considered a down payment on costs of making short-term repairs now, which can make long-term repair work possible in the weeks ahead. The FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.