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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday April 5, 2001
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
U. S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces $97.8 Million in Emergency Relief To Repair Infrastructure Damaged by Disasters
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta today announced that $97.8 million in emergency relief funds will be provided to 11 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to repair federal-aid roads that have been damaged as a result of flooding, storms and other natural disasters.
Secretary Mineta today also announced that an initial allocation of $20 million in emergency relief funds will be provided to the state of Washington to repair federal-aid roads and bridges that were damaged in the Feb. 28 earthquake that struck the Seattle area and other parts of the state.
"Helping states following an emergency is an important responsibility of the federal government," Secretary Mineta said. "Restoring damaged roadways is one of the most significant ways we can help local communities to fully recover from natural disasters, and that's why we're doing what we can to help these states and territories complete the restoration process."
The $97.8 million in emergency relief funds, which are administered by the department's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), was provided in response to requests from states and other jurisdictions for help to repair federal-aid roads and bridges. FHWA division administrators in each state work closely with state and local officials to assess damage and review funding requests.
FHWA money is awarded after the President or the Governor issues a formal emergency proclamation and the state files a preliminary damage assessment for its highways and bridges on the federal-aid system. The funds reimburse the state for the damage repair work that is already completed and provides funding for the remaining damage repair work to correct major or unusual damage to federal-aid highways.
Eligible repair work includes reconstructing damaged bridges and pavement surfaces, establishing detours, removing slides and debris, and replacing signs, lighting and guardrails.
The $97.8 million will be allocated as follows: