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U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces $500,000 in Emergency Relief Funds for Washington State

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Anthony Foxx

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces $500,000 in Emergency Relief Funds for Washington State

Federal Highway Administration
7 January 2015

FHWA 02-15
Monday, January 7, 2015
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel.: (202) 366-0660

Federal Funds to Help Repair Roads Damaged Statewide by Rainfall

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the immediate availability of $500,000 in Emergency Relief funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) cover the costs of repairing federal-aid roads damaged by rainfall in recent days.

“These funds are critical to covering the costs of road damage that was done in the western portion of the state due to record rainfall,” said Secretary Foxx. “At DOT, we understand the disruption this storm has caused in many people’s lives and stand ready to assist in any way possible.”

Record breaking amounts of rain fell in 48 hours last week over much of western Washington, causing flooding, mudslides, and culvert washouts. WSDOT identified 10 damaged sites across six different counties so far. The largest site is a culvert washout on SR 4 near the town of Naselle, 90 miles northwest of Vancouver, Wash. The road has been closed in both directions and traffic is being detoured, but several routes in the same area have debris blocking them or are flooded. According to WSDOT’s initial estimates, the costs of repairing this site alone will be $1.7 million.

“With the possibility of further damage, these emergency funds will help state officials make immediate repairs and prevent further destruction,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “We are working as closely as possible with WSDOT to restore travel in the area.”

Funds from FHWA's Emergency Relief Program will reimburse the state for emergency work done in the immediate aftermath of the rainfall. The agency will provide additional funds as permanent repairs are identified and cost estimates are completed. FHWA's Emergency Relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

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