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

FHWA 47-11
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-4650

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $1 Million in Quick Release Emergency Relief Funds for Flood Damage in Maine from Hurricane Irene

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced he is making $1 million in quick release emergency funds immediately available to the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) to begin repairs to roads and bridges damaged by floods from Hurricane Irene.

"The Obama Administration is committed to helping put Maine on the path of recovery by providing the state with the federal support it needs," Secretary LaHood said. "We are making emergency relief funds immediately available to help repair damaged roadways and restore vital transportation links so drivers can travel safely."

Continued rainfall and heavy winds from Hurricane Irene resulted in severe flooding and damage to roads and bridges across Maine. MaineDOT will use the quick release funds to continue to maintain traffic and expedite emergency repairs to roads, highways and bridges throughout the state.

"We are ready to help Maine in its recovery," Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez said. "These quick release funds represent only the beginning of what they will need to restore highways and bridges in the state."

Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are used to reimburse communities for the cost of repairs to resume essential traffic flow immediately after the flooding and prevent further damage.

FHWA's emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

Mendez added that FHWA anticipates additional funding requests from states that have been battered by extreme weather.

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