US DOT pledges $40M for road and bridge repairs in Puerto Rico

ConDig (29-Sept-17).  Puerto Rico is set to receive $40 million to repair roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Maria last week.

The US Department of Transportation said that the funds released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will be used for essential traffic and emergency work that includes repairs to bridges, guardrails and traffic signal systems. It will also help with a variety of damage caused by mudslides and flooding.

The “quick release” payment is an initial installment of funds used to restore essential traffic and limit further highway damage, which can help long-term repair work begin more quickly, the department said.

“Puerto Rico was hit hard by Hurricane Maria, so I have directed the department to release $40 million in emergency funding to begin restoring and repairing the roads and bridges across the island,” said US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

“It is critical to get the island’s infrastructure in working condition as soon as possible so relief supplies and other assistance can be delivered to the people of Puerto Rico.”

Hurricane Maria, which was a high-end Category 4 storm, caused widespread devastation across Puerto Rico last week and could cost the island $45 billion to $95 billion in damage.

The latest funds from the DOT come in addition to an earlier emergency relief package of $2.5 million for Puerto Rico following the impact of hurricane Irma, which hit the island earlier this month.

US homebuilders like D.R. Horton and Lennar Corp recently reported delays to projects after hurricane Harvey and Irma struck the country earlier this month.

Meanwhile, design, engineering and construction group CH2M Hill Constructors Inc. landed a $14.7 million cost-plus deal earlier this month to repair multiple buildings at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey.