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Virginia Division

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Virginia Department of Transportation Current Highway Conditions:

Emergency Relief Program

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Emergency Relief, or ER, program can help State and local agencies fund repairs to Federal-aid eligible roads, bridges, and other infrastructure after a Natural Disaster such as Hurricane Florence or Hurricane Michael.

The repair work within the right of way of Federal-aid highways is usually eligible to receive ER funds, if the roadway is in an affected county that is included in the Governor's Declaration or Presidential Declaration.

FEMA Website for Presidential Disaster Declaration

Virginia Website for Governor’s Declaration of State of Emergency

The decision to seek financial assistance for a disaster event under the FHWA's ER program rests with VDOT. Local agencies with damage to Federal-aid highways should make their application for ER reimbursement through VDOT. It is VDOT's responsibility to seek ER funding for the repair of Federal-aid highways, regardless of which jurisdiction.

The ER Process:

Restore Essential Service: State and local highway authorities are empowered to immediately begin emergency repairs to restore essential traffic service and to prevent further damage to Federal-aid highway facilities. Properly documented costs with before and after photos are usually eligible for reimbursement.

Damage Assessments: VDOT in cooperation with FHWA Virginia Division engineers, undertakes damage surveys and/or detailed site inspections. This may include local authorities where appropriate. Typically, this involves on-the-ground visits of the damage sites to verify the extent of damage and to determine the cost of repairs eligible for ER funding.

Implementation of Projects: Permanent repairs after a disaster occurrence restores highway to pre-disastrous conditions. Permanent repairs require prior FHWA approval. ER construction contracts are advanced generally in similar fashion as regular Federal-aid highway projects. VDOT generally takes the lead in seeing that projects are advanced in accordance with appropriate Federal and State requirements. The total amount of ER funding provided is based on the Federal share of actual costs incurred by VDOT and local highway authorities to complete eligible repair activities.

The Final ER eligibility and reimbursement will be based on the documentation submitted showing cost, justification and compliance with Federal requirements.

Key Items for Local Authorities:

Contact Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Identify your Federal-aid highway routes: Create a list of the Federal-aid routes in your county or community. Damage to these routes are potentially eligible for funding under FHWA's ER program. Federal-aid highways generally include interstates, freeways, arterials, and major collector roads. Usually rural minor collectors and local roads are not eligible for ER funds but they may potentially be eligible for FEMA Pubic Assistance: Public Assistance Fact Sheet June2017_Updated2018.pdf

VDOT's Planning Website for Roadway Functional Classification:

Federal Requirements: Be familiar with the federal requirements for construction contracts and the roles and responsibilities of State and Local Agencies administering the ER Projects.

FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual

Document emergency repair costs: If you are undertaking emergency repairs to restore essential traffic, minimize damage, or protect remaining facilities, keep good records of the costs incurred. If safely able to do so, be sure to take pictures of the damaged area before undertaking any repair work. These will be critical when VDOT or the local agency seek reimbursement under the ER program.

Permanent repair work: Remember, permanent repair work requires prior approval by the FHWA Division Office. ER projects for permanent repairs should be processed following regular Federal-aid procedures. Contracts for both permanent repair work and emergency repairs must incorporate all applicable Federal requirements.

Contact Information:

FHWA Virginia Emergency Relief Program Coordinator - Jose Granado - (804) 775-3349

FHWA Virginia Emergency Coordinator –Karen King – (804) 775-3363

Contact VDOT District Office: http://www.virginiadot.org/info/contactus.asp

Web Resources: The Emergency Relief process is explained in a series of four videos:

  1. Program Overview and Eligibility
  2. Initial Steps for Requesting ER Funds
  3. Steps for Receiving Reimbursement of ER Expenses
  4. Emergency versus Permanent Repairs

Note: Each video has a printable "Companion Resource" on its page.

Web links to related Emergency Relief:

FHWA's Emergency Relief Program Web site

FHWA Order 5182.1 - Emergency Relief Program Responsibilities

FHWA's Emergency Relief Manual

Emergency Relief questions and answers related to MAP-21

FHWA's Web site covering Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (ERFO)

FHWA's Contract Administration Core Curriculum providing an overview of Federal contracting requirements

FEMA's policy and guidance covering public assistance

FEMA fact sheet on debris removal on Federal-aid Highways

FHWA Truck Size and Weight Contacts in States and Division Offices

Page last modified on April 30, 2019
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000