U.S. Department of Transportation Provides $65 Million in ‘Quick Release’ Emergency Relief Funding to Repair Flood Damage in Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Wyoming


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the immediate availability of $65 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for use by the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service, 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 Montana, Wyoming and the surrounding areas.

“Each year Americans look forward to spending time in Yellowstone, and for the nearby communities, their tourism is a vital part of the regional economy,” said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “We’re committed to providing immediate assistance with this emergency relief funding, to get roads and bridges in Yellowstone and the surrounding area that were damaged in this recent wave of flooding fixed as quickly as possible.”

“The devastating floods in Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding communities are a significant setback to the region’s critical tourism industry that impact workers, their families, and the economy, well beyond the borders of the park. These floods are also a grim omen of what is to come if we do not take immediate action to combat the root causes of climate change and work to make certain our infrastructure is prepared to handle more frequent and severe weather,” Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “This quick release funding will help address critical repairs needed in Yellowstone National Park and beyond, and we stand prepared to support their long-term rebuilding needs.”

See related articles: FHWA Awards Nearly $9 Million for Tribal Transportation Safety Improvements and Announces Additional $120 Million Available Thanks to President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, President Biden, U.S. Department of Transportation Open Applications for First Round of Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s New Competitive Bridge Investment Program,

Due to record flooding events, Yellowstone National Park has experienced multiple road and bridge failures, mudslides, road washouts and other issues. Some roads remain closed, causing long detours for residents and visitors. These closures affect not just the Park but the surrounding communities that rely on tourism as an important part of their local economy. FHWA is coordinating with federal and state officials to assess damages and provide funding assistance through its ER program.

FHWA’s Emergency Relief 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 an initial installment of funds toward restoring this essential transportation link. Quick 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 Idaho. Additional funds from the Emergency Relief program may be available later for repairs to Yellowstone National Park and surrounding States to ensure roads and bridges can safely and expeditiously reopen. FHWA also is providing technical assistance to the National Park Service.

The FHWA Emergency Relief program complements Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs and provisions by encouraging agencies to identify and implement measures to make the restored infrastructure more resilient and better able to withstand damage from climate change and future weather events. Further, FHWA is updating its ER Manual to spotlight the program’s impact on improvements to system resilience and the equity of infrastructure spending.

More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation