US Dept of Transportation Earmarks $1.5M for repairs
WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the immediate availability of $1.5 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to help repair flood-damaged roads and bridges in South Dakota. The funds were approved shortly after being requested by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
South Dakota experienced flooding as the result of a severe winter storm in mid-March that produced freezing rain, snow and high winds leading to blizzard conditions in areas where snow fell from March 13 through March 15, 2019. The storm caused widespread hazardous travel conditions and road closures due to zero visibility. It dropped wet heavy snow across a majority of the state in a short timeframe that resulted in extensive flooding after temperatures rose, washing away road surfaces and culverts and damaging bridge decks and approaches. Many bridges still remain partly submerged.
The $1.5 million in “quick release” funding will be used to pay for the repairs made to restore essential traffic and prevent additional damage at locations throughout the state that were impacted by the storm.
Damage assessments from this event are still underway for other federal-aid highways in the region that were damaged by the severe weathers event in April. This initial “quick release” will pay for short-term repairs while the state continues to assess long-term repairs, expected at more than $9 million. The FHWA’s ER program provides funding for federally eligible highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or external catastrophic events.
–US Department of Transportation