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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $5 Million for Emergency Repairs to Earthquake-Damaged Roads in Puerto Rico

Thursday, January 16, 2020

FHWA 01-20
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: (202) 366-0660

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the availability of $5 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds to help repair roads and bridges damaged by recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico.

 “These emergency federal funds will help repair roads and bridges, and restore essential travel for residents on the island,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The earthquake swarm began in Puerto Rico in late December and continued for more than a week.  Earthquakes increased in intensity and frequency early on January 7, causing rockslides and landslides on major transportation routes and damage to bridges.

The $5 million in “quick release” funds will be used to reimburse Puerto Rico for the repairs needed on damaged federal-aid routes on the southwest part of the island. They will also be used to restore essential traffic on damaged bridges, landslides and collapsed sections of roads.

“These funds are the first step in restoring immediate transportation needs for communities in the areas affected by the earthquake,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason.

The “quick release” funds are considered a down payment on the costs of short-term repairs while Puerto Rico continues damage assessments for long-term repairs. FHWA’s ER program provides funding for federally eligible highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.
 

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