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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Contact: Nancy Singer
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 16-07

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters Releases Additional $20 Million to Mississippi to Repair Hurricane Katrina-Damaged Highways

Mississippi is receiving an additional $20 million in federal emergency relief funds for restoring local and county roads as part of the ongoing repairs to damaged highways and bridges from Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced today.

This installment of federal transportation dollars raises the amount Mississippi has received since the 2005 storm to rebuild its highway system to more than $1 billion, according to Peters.

"Mississippi can count on full federal funding to repair its hurricane-damaged highways," Secretary Peters said. "It's time to get these highways fixed so that workers and families can move forward with normal, everyday life without the hassle of detours and road closures."

The funding has been used to repair the I-10 bridge over the Pascagoula River and the US 90 bridges at Bay of St. Louis and Biloxi Bay. The Bay St. Louis Bridge is scheduled for completion in November 2007 and the Biloxi Bay Bridge in May 2008.

"We are committed to restoring the transportation system in Mississippi and ensuring people can get to work and return to their daily lives," FHWA Administrator J. Richard Capka.

The Department of Transportation made it easier for Mississippi to use federal funds by cutting red tape and giving state officials the flexibility to quickly repair the damaged bridges. As a result, emergency repairs to the I-10 bridge over the Pascagoula River were completed in only 20 days, and work on the US 90 bridges advanced much faster through design-build contracting. The Department also fully funded a free ferry service from Bay St. Louis to Pass Christian until the bridge could open two lanes of traffic in May this year.

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