USDOT Makes “Down Payment” to Repair Roads and Bridges Damaged by Oregon Wildfires
Washington D.C. – The United States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is making $5 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds available to help the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) repair infrastructure damage caused by wildfires.
“These ‘quick release’ funds will go toward emergency repair work to reopen roads and replace damaged structures and traffic control devices,” an FHWA statement said on Wednesday.
ODOT has reported damage to major stretches of multiple highways and widespread destruction of traffic control devices, guardrails and other hardware since the wildfires began early this month.
Even w/wildfires still burning, crews are assessing damage on hundreds of miles of road, removing thousands of trees damaged by fire, & inspecting culverts, bridges, guardrail & pavement. Learn how we’re tracking our progress for reopening roads, here: https://t.co/ImRgbTB8Ea pic.twitter.com/7Ygy8vLf6n
— OregonDOT (@OregonDOT) September 16, 2020
FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.
The release of these funds is only an initial installment which will be used to restore essential traffic and to limit further highway damage, FHWA said.
“Today’s funding represents a down payment on our federal commitment to ensuring highway infrastructure in Oregon is repaired following these devastating wildfires,” Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason commented.
Making matters more challenging for motorists and the trucking community is the fact ODOT has closed its DMV and Motor Carrier (Compliance and Commerce) call centers and offices due to “hazardous” air quality levels.
DMV and Motor Carrier (Compliance and Commerce) call centers and offices may remain closed this week depending on air quality. Learn more: https://t.co/38w9CFlmK2
— OregonDOT (@OregonDOT) September 15, 2020
“We apologize for the delays in service, but the safety of customers and employees guides our decisions office by office,” ODOT said this week. “We encourage carriers to utilize Oregon Trucking Online to conduct business. If you have questions or need further assistance, please use the ‘Contact Us’ link on our website to send an email.”