October 27, 2020
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The Federal Highway Administration issued $5 million in “quick release” emergency relief funds on September 4 to help Louisiana begin repairing highways and bridges damaged by Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Marco.

[Above photo by the Louisiana DOTD.]

Louisiana experienced high winds and heavy rain from August 23-29 due to those storms, with high winds and floods causing significant damage throughout the western half of the state.

The FHWA added that “quick release” funds make it easier for emergency repair work, such as stabilizing and repairing roadway embankments and bridges, rebuilding damaged roadways and repairing or replacing damaged structures, traffic signals and signs, to begin immediately.

Photo by the Louisiana DOTD

“FHWA is working with Louisiana officials to get roads affected by Hurricane Laura repaired and operating again as quickly as possible,” said Nicole Nason, the agency’s administrator, in a statement. “These funds can help pay for the work necessary to support the economic well-being in several parishes.”

“Southwest and central Louisiana has seen tremendous damage from Hurricane Laura,” noted Shawn D. Wilson, Ph. D, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. “Thousands of miles of state roadways were impacted by this disastrous storm and these funds will assist in expediting the reconstruction of any roads and bridges that were damaged.”

“Hurricane Laura traveled the length of Louisiana, bringing with it hurricane force winds in areas that simply haven’t seen that type of weather before,” noted Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) in a separate statement. “To date, FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] has registered 131,349 Louisiana survivors since Hurricane Laura, with $73 million in aid already paid out.”

editor@aashto.org

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