The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has made $2 million in emergency relief funds available for repairs to roads on federal lands damaged by heavy rains last December in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
“These important emergency funds will make it possible for workers to make immediate repairs throughout the area,” says FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “We want to ensure that everyone in this large region has access to safe roads and bridges, and especially so on these federal lands roads to accommodate a busy tourism season this year.”
Up to 18 inches of rain fell over a three-day period in December covering areas in six National Forests, three National Parks, a National Scenic Area and two Bureau of Land Management Districts in the three states. The hardest hit areas include Gifford Pinchot and Idaho Panhandle National Forests and Olympic National Park in Washington.
FHWA’s emergency relief program provides “quick release” funds for highways and bridges damaged by catastrophic events or natural disasters to help start repair work and to help agencies make continuing damage assessments.
The program is authorized for $100 million annually through contact authority from the Highway Trust Fund’s Highway Account, but Congress can appropriate more when needed. For example, $410 million was released last December for road and bridge repair projects in 33 states.
The FAST Act continued the $100 million annual funding authorization for fiscal years 2016-2020.