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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 21-12
Monday May 7, 2012
Contact: Kelly Hanahan
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $20 Million in Emergency Transportation Funding for Oregon, Alabama and South Carolina

Funding Will Repair Roads and Bridges Damaged in Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today 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 Secretary 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 are also 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 2012. Alabama will receive $3 million for the repair of the March 2010 sinkhole on I-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.

The Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief (ER) 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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