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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

USDOT awards PR over $46 million for road repairs on federal lands

By The Star Staff

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded $46.4 million for repairs to roads on federal lands in Puerto Rico that were damaged by hurricanes Irma, Maria and Fiona, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón announced Thursday.

“Local agencies continue to receive federal resources to move forward with the reconstruction of the island,” the resident commissioner said. “In this case, DOT is injecting over $46 million so that roads and highways on federal land continue to be repaired. I hope our communities will soon be able to see the impact of these funds.”

As part of the award, $36 million will be administered by the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority. Eligible repair work includes emergency repairs needed to restore essential traffic, minimize the extent of damage, or protect remaining facilities, as well as permanent repairs needed to restore the road to its pre-disaster condition.

The U.S. Forest Service, for its part, will have $10.4 million to repair roads or make other roadway-related repairs on federal property, such as within the El Yunque National Forest. The funds could cover permanent and emergency work, landslides, pavement damage, construction or reinforcement of retaining walls, trenching to open roads and culvert damage.

The funds are awarded under the DOT’s emergency relief program, authorized under Title 23, U.S.C., Section 125. The program was created to assist states with the repair or reconstruction of federally assisted roads and highways on federal lands that have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disasters or catastrophic failures from an external cause.

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