NEW: Rhode Island to Receive $3 Million Federal Aid for Hurricane Sandy Recovery
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Governor Lincoln Chafee announced this morning that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has approved the quick release of $3 million in emergency relief funds for Rhode Island, available immediately. The funds, which will help the state begin repairs to infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy, were granted in response to a letter of intent sent by the Chafee Administration yesterday afternoon following an assessment of damage to federal-aid infrastructure.
“On behalf of our state, I thank President Obama, Secretary LaHood, and Administrator Mendez for their swift action to help Rhode Island recover from the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy,” Governor Chafee said. “Some of our most important infrastructure – including sea walls that protect communities from surging seas – was damaged in this storm. The swift release of this federal funding will help us take quick action to begin these projects and put Rhode Islanders to work on needed repairs. This is another indication that the Obama Administration is committed to helping affected states recover from this destructive storm.”
“President Obama has directed us to immediately help restore vital transportation infrastructure following this unprecedented and devastating storm – and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Secretary LaHood. "These emergency relief funds are just a down payment on our commitment to all of the states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”
“This funding is only the first step in the difficult process of helping the region recover,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “The federal government stands ready to assist in helping affected states repair roads and bridges so that residents can begin to resume daily activities.”
“I want to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for their quick response in providing these much-needed funds, which will allow us to begin critical repairs to our state’s infrastructure,” said Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Michael P. Lewis.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s action follows President Obama’s call for federal agencies to act quickly and bring all available resources to bear as quickly as possible. It also builds on the disaster assistance for a number of affected states over the past several days.
The $3 million represents 100% of Rhode Island’s immediately requested funds. In addition to these funds, Rhode Island will be eligible for further aid or reimbursements for infrastructure repairs. The state’s request was among the first, along with that of New York, to arrive at the Department of Transportation and represents the first installment of federal-aid highway funds to help repair roads, bridges and tunnels in these two states.
Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be used to pay for a variety of repairs to roads and bridges that are immediately necessary. Rhode Island will use the funding to repair damaged sea walls supporting roadways.
FHWA’s emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. Restoring critical infrastructure is essential to enabling first responders and relief workers to access impacted communities and to quickly restoring services to impacted residents.