The Federal Highway Administration has issued $29.4 million in “quick release” emergency relief or ER funds for use by the California Department of Transportation and four U.S. federal land management agencies as a down payment on recent repair work needed as a result of multiple storms and flooding events that damaged roads, bridges, and highways in December and January.
[Above photo by Caltrans]
FHWA provided $10.2 million in ER funds to Caltrans for distribution to local transportation agencies to help repair federal-aid highways damaged by flooding from storms that hit California in late December 2022 and in January. Caltrans said it has assessed initial damage at 87 locations in 37 counties and assessments are ongoing.
FHWA is also providing a total of $19.2 million to the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation in order to repair federal land areas in California damaged by flooding, landslides, and mudslides caused by those same storms.
California officials estimate that as many as 40 of the 58 counties statewide were affected by the storms, which brought the flooding of rivers and roadways, hundreds of mudslides, and forced evacuations.
Significant damage occurred in several areas, including in Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo counties.
“The Federal Highway Administration is working closely with Caltrans and federal land management agency personnel in California as they assess the damage caused by this catastrophic wave of storms,” said FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt in a statement.
“These quick release funds will help get the roads, bridges and highways that residents and workers rely on back up and running again, and also better equipped to withstand future deluge events,” he added.