AASHTO Journal, 15 January 2016
The Federal Highway Administration made available $1 million in emergency relief funds to help the Missouri Department of Transportation cover costs of road and bridge repairs in the wake of heavy flooding last month.
The Jan. 8 announcement said a series of severe storms that began Dec. 22 caused flooding across the state as the Mississippi, Meramec and Missouri rivers all went out of their banks.
In eastern Missouri the flooding closed parts of I-44 and I-55 in the St. Louis area. Segments of other major highways in the state were also closed, including I-70 and I-49, and traffic lights and signs were damaged.
“Emergency relief funding will help Missouri expedite repairs in the aftermath of the flooding,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We know that residents are anxious to see major highways reopened again so they can return to their daily routines.”
Even after MoDOT was able to announce the reopening of the interstate routes on Jan. 1, it said more than 100 road segments remained flooded out.
On Jan. 15, it still reported 45 closures from flooding.
The FHWA said the $1 million in what it calls “quick release” funds will mainly be used to restore emergency access and to initiate the most critical repairs in the next few weeks, the FHWA said.
FHWA Administrator Greg Nadeau said: “Missouri should know that the funds provided today are only an initial installment toward completing all the necessary repairs in the state as the result of this weather event. Additional resources will become available as the state continues to assess the damage.”