Puerto Rico Receives Federal Funds to Repair Transportation Infrastructure after Flooding

AASHTO Journal, 30 May 2014

The Federal Highway Administration recently announced it was assisting Puerto Rico in fixing roads and bridges ravaged by flooding with the help of quick-release emergency relief funding.

Puerto Rico will receive $1 million from the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief program to help the repair transportation infrastructure in the El Yunque National Forest area, located 15 miles east of San Juan. The area on May 10 experienced heavy rains and flooding which quickly resulted in several landslides and infrastructure problems. Specifically, PR-191, the main route to the forest, was severely damaged during the storm and will need to be reconstructed. While final cost estimates have not yet been released, the federal emergency relief funds will help the area fix these problems and get traffic moving more quickly.

“Emergency relief funding will make immediate repairs possible and allow the roads to open again,” said Deputy FHWA Administrator Greg Nadeau in a statement. “We want to ensure that everyone in Puerto Rico has access to this important part of the island, and that travel can return to normal in El Yunque National Forest as soon as possible.”

The federal Emergency Relief Program reimburses states for the repair and reconstruction of federal-aid highways and bridges that experience damage due to natural disasters or catastrophic events. Congress authorizes $100 million each year for the program.

Additional information on FHWA’s Emergency Relief program is available here.

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