January 9, 2012

RI to Receive Over $3.7 Million in Federal Funds to Fix Storm-Damaged Roads

Funds to Assist with Repairs Following Hurricane Irene

WASHINGTON, DC – Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation today announced the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is awarding Rhode Island $3.7 million to help fix bridges and roads damaged last year by Hurricane Irene. The funds will be used to offset costs incurred by the state in the wake of the storm.

The grant, which is being distributed to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, was made available by the formal emergency declaration issued by President Obama after the storm. The delegation wrote to President Obama before the storm urging him to support the state’s requests for federal assistance.

“Irene did significant damage to roads across Rhode Island and RIDOT worked hard to clean them up and make them passable. This emergency disaster assistance will help offset the cost of fixing our roads and making them safer,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

“Too many of Rhode Island’s roads and bridges have long been in need of repair, and Hurricane Irene only made things worse,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “This funding will ease the cost burden of storm-related repairs for our state.”

“In a time of tight budgets, Hurricane Irene put an even greater strain on state and local officials to take care of the infrastructure that is so critical to our economic future,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “It provided yet another example of how important it is that we ensure Rhode Island receives a reasonable share of the resources available to support infrastructure and this funding will certainly help.”

“Last August, Hurricane Irene rendered millions in damages to roads and bridges throughout Rhode Island. These federal disaster funds will provide valuable resources to help Rhode Island repair our state’s infrastructure,” said Congressman Cicilline, who also joined his colleagues in fighting for House consideration of legislation to provide important disaster relief funding.

In November 2011, Congress passed a law providing $1.66 billion to bolster the FHWA federal highway disaster relief program, which is the source of the grant announced today.


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