The Federal Highway Administration has released $1 million in emergency relief funds for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD) to assist in repairs to highways and bridges damaged during recent heavy rains.
“Emergency Relief funding will allow the state to make the needed repairs so people can get back to work and go about their daily lives again,” says Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “We know Louisiana residents are eagerly awaiting the reopening of roads.”
Louisiana experienced severe weather beginning in early March, leading to extended closure of I-10 west from flooding of the Sabine River at the Louisiana-Texas state line. Sixteen parishes have been affected by the flooding.
Repairs, including rebuilding and stabilizing roadway embankments, correcting bridge scour and rebuilding or replacing damaged structures, will cost an estimated $5 million.
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.