The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the immediate availability of $65 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for use by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Park Service. Interior, from the Montana Department of Transportation and the Wyoming Department of Transportation, as a down payment to help repair flood damage that caused the closure of Yellowstone National Park and impacted roads and bridges in the Montana, Wyoming and surrounding areas.
“Every year, Americans look forward to spending time in Yellowstone, and for nearby communities, their tourism is a vital part of the regional economy,” said U.S. Undersecretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg. “We are committed to providing immediate assistance with this emergency relief funding, so that the roads and bridges in and around Yellowstone that were damaged in this recent wave of flooding are repaired as quickly as possible.”
“The devastating flooding in Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding communities is a significant setback to the region’s critical tourism industry that impacts workers, their families and the economy far beyond the park’s borders. . These floods are also a grim omen of what lies ahead unless we take immediate action to address the root causes of climate change and work to ensure our infrastructure is ready for more frequent weather and more violent,” said Stephanie, assistant administrator of federal highways. Pollak said. “This quick-release funding will help address critical repairs needed in Yellowstone National Park and beyond, and we stand ready to meet their long-term reconstruction needs.”
Due to record flooding, Yellowstone National Park has experienced multiple road and bridge failures, landslides, road washouts, and other issues.
Some roads remain closed, causing long detours for residents and visitors.
These closures affect not only the park, but surrounding communities that depend on tourism as an important part of their local economy.
FHWA coordinates with federal and state authorities to assess damages and provide financial assistance through its ER program.
FHWA’s Emergency Assistance Program provides funding to states, territories, tribes, and federal land management agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.
These “quick release” emergency relief funds are a first installment of funds for the restoration of this essential transportation link.
The fast-release funds will be used by the National Park Service to reopen roads and prevent further damage in the park, which is located largely in the northwest corner of Wyoming, extending into Montana and the Idaho.
Additional funds from the Emergency Relief Program may be available later for repairs in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding states to ensure that roads and bridges can be reopened quickly and safely.
The FHWA also provides technical assistance to the National Park Service.
FHWA’s Emergency Assistance Program complements the programs and provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act by encouraging agencies to identify and implement measures to make restored infrastructure more resilient and better able to resist damage from climate change and future weather events.
In addition, FHWA is updating its Emergency Management Handbook to highlight the program’s impact on improvements in system resilience and equity in infrastructure spending.