U.S. Department of Transportation Providing Florida $50 Million in ‘Quick Release’ Emergency Relief Funding to Repair Damage Caused by Hurricane Ian
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the immediate availability of $50 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for use by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as a down payment to offset costs of repair work for damage caused by Hurricane Ian earlier this month.
“Today we’re making available $50 million in emergency funds to help Florida repair roads and bridges after the devastation of Hurricane Ian,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This important step is only part of a larger federal commitment: as President Biden said, we will be with the people of Florida for as long as it takes to recover and rebuild stronger.”
“The Federal Highway Administration is working closely with the Florida Department of Transportation to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Ian in Florida,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “The quick release funding we are providing will help get those repairs done as soon as possible and better prepare this area for future storms in Florida.”
Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida as a strong Category 4 hurricane with storm surges in excess of 10 feet in many places and heavy rainfall for several days. The subsequent flooding damaged, washed out, and/or destroyed roadways, causeways, intersections, and bridges throughout several regions in the state. Quick release funds will be used to pay for repairs on the Sanibel Island and Pine Island Causeways in order to restore essential traffic to the islands and protect the remaining facilities. FDOT has also identified 20 critical intersections in which they indicate a need to perform emergency repairs in order to restore essential traffic.
FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding to States, territories, Tribes, and Federal Land Management Agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment of funds toward restoring this essential transportation link.
The FHWA Emergency Relief program complements Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and provisions by encouraging agencies to identify and implement measures to incorporate resilience in the design, restoration and repair of damaged infrastructure, to better withstand future damage from climate change and future weather events. FHWA is also updating its ER Manual to spotlight the program’s impact on improvements to system resilience and the equity of infrastructure spending.
More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm.