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FHWA announces $2 million in relief for flood-damaged roads, bridges

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced recently the immediate availability of $2 million in emergency relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration to the Alabama Department of Transportation to help repair roads and bridges damaged by heavy rains and flooding last month.

“Emergency relief funding will help Alabama recover from the widespread damage caused by last month’s storm,” said Foxx. “We understand how important it is to get these roads repaired and reopened so life there can return to normal as soon as possible.”

Franklin County Engineer David Palmer said it’s likely some of those funds will come to Franklin County to provide assistance in repairing the county’s damaged roads and bridges.

“We have to go out and estimate the damage for individual site,” Palmer said. Once the damage is properly documented, eligible roads in Franklin County can be considered for assistance.

Storms producing heavy rain in late December caused flooding in Franklin County throughout northern Alabama. Statewide damage estimates are still being prepared for roughly 200 damaged sites.

Palmer said FHWA Emergency Relief funds can be applied toward major collectors that are damaged – like College Road in Phil Campbell. “That was the main one; it’s going to be pretty expensive,” Palmer said. Gravel Hill Road and County Road 4 would also be eligible under FHWA guidelines.

The state will receive $2 million in initial, or “quick release,” funds to begin the important repair work, to make further damage assessments and begin to restore traffic to normal as the state continues to evaluate its repair needs. Preliminary damages are estimated at around $8 million, though that figure could grow as new information becomes available.