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Sat September 21, 2013
Feds Release Emergency Highway Funds To New Mexico
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the immediate availability of $2 million in emergency relief funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help New Mexico cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by ongoing floods. “Natural disasters of this magnitude can cause significant damage to the roads and bridges people depend on every day,” said Secretary Foxx. “These funds will help get life back to normal as soon as possible for area residents and represent a down payment on our commitment to the people of New Mexico.” Major flooding in New Mexico – caused by record-breaking rainfall that started September 9 and continues to fall – has severely impacted several counties and Native American jurisdictions throughout the state, requiring evacuations of hundreds of people. Flooding has damaged numerous roads and bridges throughout the state, including I-40 located about 30 miles west of Albuquerque which has been severely damaged by a sinkhole. “The funds provided today represent only the beginning of our commitment to the people of New Mexico to restore transportation,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “We will continue to support the people of New Mexico until all roads and bridges damaged from flooding are repaired.” New Mexico has an estimated $9 million in damages so far, but this figure is only an initial assessment and is expected to increase. Funds from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Emergency Relief Program will reimburse the New Mexico Department of Transportation for emergency work done in the immediate aftermath of the flooding. FHWA will provide additional funds in the future as permanent repairs are identified and cost estimates are completed. 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.