The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has received emergency relief funds totaling $14.2 million from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) to repair highway damage from storms that hit the state in late 2015 and early 2016, Department (AHTD) officials said today (April 11).
The funding, provided by the FHWA’s Emergency Relief Program, will be used to repair damage on the state’s highway system caused by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from Dec. 23, 2015 through Jan. 22, 2016.
On Dec. 28, 2015, Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaimed the following counties eligible for disaster relief: Benton, Calhoun, Carroll, Drew, Franklin, Logan, Madison, Ouachita, Perry, Polk, Searcy and Washington. The Governor later modified the Proclamation to include Baxter, Chicot, Crawford, Jackson, Jefferson, Little River, Marion, Montgomery, Sebastian, Bradley, Clay, Desha, Faulkner, Greene, Johnson, Randolph, Scott, Sevier, White, Yell, Boone, Izard, Lawrence, Monroe, Pike, Newton and Stone Counties.
A subsequent proclamation by President Barack Obama also included Boone, Bradley, Clay, Dallas, Greene, Independence, Marion, Mississippi, Newton, Pike, Randolph, Stone, and Woodruff Counties. Flooding during the period caused extensive pavement damage and erosion at many bridge and culvert locations. In addition, the storms triggered shoulder and embankment erosion on numerous highways as well as landslides.
On December, Congress provided $1 billion in supplemental Emergency Relief funds to address a growing backlog of emergency relief funds needed nationwide.