WASHINGTON – Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials today announced the immediate availability of $1 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds to help begin repairs on roads and bridges in Oregon damaged by wildfires that began last July.
“We want to help Oregon begin the repairs needed to get traffic back to normal throughout a dozen of its western counties,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson. “These ER funds are just a down payment on what we know will be additional resources to help restore traffic across the Beaver State.”
At least six wildfires have significantly impacted Oregon’s transportation system, including the Eagle Creek Fire which forced the closure of several miles of I-84 through the Columbia River Gorge two weeks ago. Much of that segment remains closed, due to continued fire danger and ongoing emergency work to perform hazard tree removal and rock scaling.
These funds will make it possible for workers to more quickly begin repairs and restoration of essential traffic throughout Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Lane, Linn, Marion and Multnomah Counties.
The FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” ER funds are an initial installment of funds used to restore essential traffic and to limit further highway damage, which can help long-term repair work begin more quickly.
More information about FHWA’s ER program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm.