The Federal Highway Administration has released $5 million in emergency relief funds to North Carolina for repairs to roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Matthew.
“Hurricane Matthew caused significant damage to the state’s roadways and bridges and we will take extraordinary measures to help North Carolina restore its roads and bridges,” says Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx. “These emergency funds are just a down payment on the Department’s commitment to reconnect people with vital services they need to begin the process of putting their lives back together.”
Hurricane Matthew began dumping heavy rains on the state beginning October 9 and water continues to rise in eastern portions of the state. Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for 100 counties due to the flooding.
“As the state begins repairs immediately to start the process of recovery, this money will be used to repair roads and bridges, stabilize structures to prevent further damage, and set up detours until permanent repairs are completed,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau.
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.