Emergency Relief for Disaster Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief [September 3, 2014] [open pdf - 297KB]
From the report summary: "Major roads and bridges are part of the federal-aid highway system and are therefore eligible for assistance under the Emergency Relief Program (ER) of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Following a natural disaster (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failure (such as the 2013 collapse of the Skagit River Bridge), ER funds are made available for both emergency repairs and restoration of federal-aid highway facilities to conditions comparable to those before the disaster. State departments of transportation typically have close ongoing relationships with FHWA's division offices in each state, which facilitate a quick, coordinated response to disasters. Although ER is a federal program, the decision to seek ER funding is made by the state, not by the federal government. [...] The 112th Congress authorized an emergency relief program for public transportation systems. However, this program does not have a permanent funding source, and funds are to be provided only by appropriation. The 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (P.L. 113-2) made available appropriations of $10.9 billion (reduced by $545 million by sequestration) for the Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program."
CRS Report for Congress, R43384
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