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U.S. DOT allocates $749 million to repair roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters

By Brock Huffstutler

May 28, 2023

FloodingThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that it will provide $749 million in Emergency Relief Program funds to 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to repair and rebuild roads and bridges that have been damaged by catastrophic events, including extreme weather events. 

These extreme weather events were eligible for federal reimbursement under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program as the result of major disaster declarations. 

“These climate events take their toll on communities, often impacting the economic livelihood and the quality of life for residents who are forced to make changes to their daily lives to accommodate damaged roads and infrastructure,” said FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “Through these long-term investments from FHWA’s Emergency Relief Program and new programs available in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will continue to address the devastating impacts of climate change and catastrophic events and work to build more resilient transportation infrastructure.” 

FHWA says that since natural disasters and catastrophic events often require yearslong recoveries, the majority of its Emergency Relief funding goes toward reimbursement for states, territories, federal land management agencies, and Tribal governments to fix and restore roads and bridges in the aftermath of wildfires, hurricanes, flooding and other weather-related events. This includes damage from events like Hurricane Ian in Florida, rainstorms and wildfires throughout California, Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and flooding in and around Yellowstone Park in 2022. 

A listing of FY 2023 Emergency Relief Program allocations with funding information for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico can be found here.