Federal monies, DOT team designated for MN bridge response
Aug 7, 2007 11:41 AM
With $250 million in funding from Congress, $5 million in immediate support from the Department of Transportation (DOT), and a team from DOT to operate on site, the federal government has stepped up its efforts to respond to the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis MN.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said in a news release on her Web site that Congress authorized the $250 million for repair and rebuilding of the bridge. She said the appropriation authorizes the project for emergency funding and waives the current $100-million-cap on emergency funding dollars. The legislation, approved by the House of Representatives and Senate August 4, will allow Minnesota to proceed with reconstruction efforts with the promise of federal reimbursement.
The bill also will provide $5 million in funds from the Federal Transit Administration to maximize public transportation services while rebuilding takes place, according to the Klobuchar information.
The DOT immediate funding announced last week by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters is based on a $5-million request from Minnesota, and will provide funding for repair to the bridge that collapsed August 1, killing several motorists and injuring many others.
Peters said the federal funding “will give crews the support they need to begin restoring traffic flow, clearing debris, setting up detours, and making repairs.” She made the remarks during a visit August 2 to the site of the collapse.
Peters also announced that she has deployed the team to operate on-site in Minneapolis to coordinate the response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts. The team, led by Federal Highway Administrator Rick Capka, a professional engineer and former Army Corps of Engineers brigadier general, will have expertise in bridge engineering, federal contracting, transit programs, and environmental assessments. The team also includes personnel who will work directly with local, state, and federal officials on site, DOT said.
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