Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced Friday the immediate availability of $14.5 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to repair damaged roads in Tennessee and Ohio.
Tennessee received $10 million in funding to help pay for repairs to “restore essential traffic and prevent additional damage at locations impacted by severe flooding and mudslides,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation. More than 20 inches of rain fell on the state in February, which damaged highways in 72 counties and caused an estimated $75 million in damage.
“These emergency relief funds will help Tennessee expedite the repair process and restore access to roads as quickly as possible,” Chao said.
“SR 376 is a major transportation artery for Morgan County, and its closure has significantly impacted accessibility to many Morgan County services including the county’s junior high and high schools, a disability facility and nursing home, and the county's only mental health and drug and alcohol abuse center,” the press release reads.
The “quick release” funds are meant to pay for short-term repairs while the states continue damage assessments to determine long-term repairs. The FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.