WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the availability of $5 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds to help repair roads and bridges damaged by floods in Alabama.

 “This $5 million in emergency relief funding will help communities in Alabama rebuild critical highways that residents rely upon for daily travel,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Beginning February 1, Alabama suffered significant rainfall statewide. Subsequent flooding caused road washouts and slides across northern and central Alabama. Initial damage assessments suggest costs may exceed $30 million. A landslide severely damaged US 231 in Morgan County. The highway is currently closed with a major detour in place.

“This is only the beginning of our commitment to restoring Alabama’s broken transportation links and to providing state and local officials the federal support they need,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason.

The $5 million in emergency relief funds will help Alabama address the damage to federal-aid highways from heavy rains and flooding, but may also be used to reimburse the state for costs associated with emergency repairs needed to prevent further damage.

The funds are considered a down payment on the costs of short-term repairs while state officials continue damage assessments for long-term repairs.

FHWA’s ER program provides funding for federally eligible highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.