Saturday, December 1, 2018
Contact: Mike Reynard
Tel.: (202) 366-0660
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the immediate availability of $5 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds to help begin repairs on roads and bridges damaged by yesterday’s earthquake in Alaska. The funds were approved shortly after being requested by Governor Walker and Alaska Department of Transportation Commissioner Luiken.
“The earthquake devastated roads and bridges across south-central Alaska, and these emergency funds will help reopen important sections of road more quickly to speed the overall recovery,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Anchorage on November 30, buckling roads throughout the region with reports of major damage. Officials closed the Glenn Highway north of Eagle River because of damage, and the onramp pavement at the interchange of International Airport Road and Minnesota Boulevard collapsed. A section of the Seward Highway was closed in both directions because of a rockslide but is now open.
The $5 million in “quick release” funding will be used to pay for the repairs made to restore essential traffic and prevent additional damage at emergency repair locations in Anchorage and surrounding areas.
Damage assessments from this event are still underway. This initial “quick release” payment is considered a down payment on the costs of short-term repairs while the state continues damage assessments for long-term repairs. The FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.
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