(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced the release of $35 million in emergency Federal Highway Administration (FHA) funding that she secured for the reconstruction and repair of roads destroyed in the severe storms of November and December 2006.
Despite the fact that neither the Bush Administration nor the House of Representatives included any funding for this program, Murray worked through her role as Subcommittee Chair to include the funding in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2007, which was signed into law on May 25th.
"Washed-out roads have hurt our economy, disrupted families and endangered safety, but now the funding I fought for will help residents and communities get back on their feet," Senator Murray said. "It has been a hard fight to secure this relief, but today our state is finally on the road to recovery."
The funds Murray secured were originally contained in legislation that was vetoed by the President. Murray used her position and clout in the Senate to include the dollars in a later version of the Emergency Supplemental bill that was eventually signed into law.
Murray has worked to secure this funding since November of 2006, when she brought U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters to Snohomish County to meet with Governor Chris Gregoire, Washington State Department of Transportation workers and emergency responders and receive a briefing about the damage in that region and across the state.
“States across the country have consistently been reimbursed for severe road damage incurred in disasters like floods," Murray added. “As Chairman of the Transportation Subcommittee, I refused to allow our state to take a back seat on disaster relief.
The amounts allocated today from the Federal Highway Administration include:
- $3,500,000 to WSDOT for damage sustained from the torrential storms that began on November 2, 2006 and damaged or destroyed roads in Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Klickitat, Kitsap, Kittitas, King, Lewis, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skamania, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whatcom, and Yakima counties;
- $11,878,993 to WSDOT for damage sustained across the entire state stemming from the severe wind and rain storms that took place in mid-December, 2006;
- $6,070,947 to the National Forest Service specifically for the repair of roads damaged or destroyed back in November in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and Olympic National Forest; and
- $14,782,967 to the National Park Service specifically for the repair or roads damaged or destroyed in November in Mt. Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park.
The funding announced today comes on top of $18,340,000 that Murray secured in earlier appropriations bills for a portion of the repair costs of storm damaged roads.