The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has announced the immediate availability of $30 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief funds to further roads and bridges throughout Puerto Rico. Another $6 million has been awarded for road repairs throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.
These funds supplement $42.5 in emergency funds previously made available to Puerto Rico, bringing total highway federal-aid emergency relief (ER) funding for the territory for the two hurricane events to $72.5 million. The U.S. Virgin Islands’ latest funds are in addition to the $2 million awarded several weeks ago for both Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
The funds will be used on continuing emergency work, including restoring essential traffic and repairs to bridges, guardrails, traffic signal systems. They’ll be used to repair various damages caused by mudslides and flooding, according to a Nov. 22 news release.
The Federal Highway Administration’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. The “quick release” payments to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are considered as initial installments of funds used to restore essential traffic and limit further highway damage, which can help long-term repair work begin more quickly, USDOT says.