Monday, May 20, 2024

US earmarks $830m to protect transport infrastructure from climate change – Global Construction Review

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The Roanoke River rising over a road in Roanoke City, Virginia (Larry Metayer/Dreamstime)

The US government is to spend $830m on mitigating the effects of climate change on road and rail systems.

The money will go on 80 projects to protect transport from the effects of sea-level rises, storms and higher temperatures. The work will involve work on bridges, highways, ports and rail lines in 37 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

Four grant types will be offered: at-risk coastal infrastructure, community resilience and evacuation routes, planning grants, and resilience improvement grants.

The two largest beneficiaries in this round of funding will be the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, who will receive $60m to improve two sections of BIA Route 33, and the City of Cedar Rapids in Iowa, which will receive $56m to replace the 86-year-old Arc of Justice Bridge.

The complete $830m programme is called the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation, or Protect for short. It is part of $50bn secured by the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was signed in November 2021, was well as the Inflation Reduction Act and the National Climate Resilience Framework.

Shailen Bhatt, the head of the Federal Highway Administration, said: “Every community in America knows the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, including increasingly frequent heavy rain and flooding events across the country and a sea-level rise that is inundating infrastructure in coastal states.

“This investment from the Biden–Harris administration will ensure our infrastructure is built to withstand more frequent and unpredictable extreme weather, which is vitally important for people and businesses that rely on roads and bridges being open to keep our economy moving.”

In February 2024, the US announced a $729m fund to repair roads damaged by natural disasters.

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