U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced he is making $20 million in quick release emergency relief funds immediately available to New York to continue to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Today's announcement builds on President Obama's call--immediately following the hurricane--for federal agencies to act quickly to bring all available resources to bear as quickly as possible. The funds are made possible by the President's major disaster declarations, which make federal assistance available to supplement state and local response and recovery efforts.
The $20 million for New York brings the state's total to $30 million. With today's release, the Department of Transportation has approved a total of $49 million so far: $30 million for New York; $10 million for New Jersey; $2 million for Connecticut; $3 million for Rhode Island; and $4 million for North Carolina.
"President Obama has emphasized that we need to do everything possible to help communities following Hurricane Sandy," said Secretary LaHood. "These emergency relief funds represent our continued support for the region until it fully recovers from this natural disaster."
Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are used for a variety of repairs to roads, bridges and tunnels that are immediately necessary. New York will use the quick release funds to proceed immediately with repairs to overhead sign structures, traffic signal systems, and roadway pavement sections that were damaged by Sandy.
"New York can count on our support until its transportation system is completely restored," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "We are committed to moving the entire region toward a speedy recovery and will provide assistance every step of the way."
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. Restoring critical infrastructure is essential to enabling first responders and relief workers to access impacted communities and to quickly restoring services to impacted residents.