LAPWAI – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the immediate availability of $3 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds to help the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) repair roads and bridges damaged by recent floods.
“The emergency funding we’re announcing today will help the people of Idaho recover from these devastating floods and safely reopen their roads and bridges as quickly as possible,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Extreme moisture, runoff and flooding occurred following the heavy rains in NezPerce and Idaho counties causing significant damage, as well as creating dangerous travel conditions in the North Central and Northeast regions of the state beginning June 10, 2022. Numerous roadways in the area were obstructed from the flooding. Idaho Governor Brad Little issued a disaster declaration on June 22 to assist with response and repair efforts.
“Today’s funding represents a down payment on our federal commitment to ensuring roads and bridges in Idaho damaged by the flooding are repaired as quickly as possible,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “The flooding has interrupted daily life in communities in the region, and we hope that by restoring vital transportation links people can regain a sense of normalcy.”
Initial flooding closed the northbound lane of US-95 four miles south of Lapwai. Crews worked diligently to reopen two lanes with an asphalt surface as soon as possible and committed to start refocusing on more permanent repairs later this summer.
These “quick release” funds will go toward emergency repair work and operations to maintain traffic flow throughout the disaster. Damaged roads include US-95, Gifford-Reubens Road, Southwick Road and Webb Road in Nez Perce County as well as Toll/Clear Creek Road in Idaho County.
FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. These funds are an initial installment of funds used to restore essential traffic and to limit further highway damage, which can help long-term repair work begin more quickly.
The funding announced today adds to the more than $70 million recently provided to the Montana Department of Transportation, the Wyoming Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service for Yellowstone National Park and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service for Custer Gallatin National Forest to repair flood damage.
More information about FHWA’s ER program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm.