Saturday, July 20, 2024

Federal Highway Administration Provides $30 Million to Repair California’s Roadways After Winter Storms


The following is a press release from California State Senator Dianne Feinstein:

A vehicle swallowed by sinkhole north of Willits [Picture by MCSO Captain Greg Van Patton]

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla (both D-Calif.) as well as Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), and Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) applauded the announcement of $29.375 million in emergency funding from the Federal Highway Administration to repair and reconstruct highways, roads and bridges in California following the series of winter storms that resulted in widespread flooding, washed-out roads, mudslides, landslides and sinkholes. 

On January 11, the lawmakers led and authored a bipartisan letter with 38 California Members of Congress to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt to request expedited support, funding and other assistance to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Caltrans will receive $10.2 million in initial “quick release” funding to help re-establish essential traffic routes. 

Additionally, the Federal Highway Administration will provide such funds to four federal agencies for the repair of federally owned public-use roadways: National Park Service ($10 million), Forest Service ($8.5 million), Fish and Wildlife Service ($550,000) and Bureau of Reclamation ($125,000). 

“The recent storms hammered California’s infrastructure, causing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage to our roads and highways,” said Senator Feinstein. “I appreciate the Biden administration’s rapid approval of additional funding to help repair damaged roads, in addition to its previously approved FEMA assistance.  We will continue to work with the administration to ensure all appropriate federal resources are made available as California begins its recovery from these disastrous storms.” 

“When disaster strikes, my top priority is to ensure that California has access to the full breadth of the federal government’s resources to help us recover from these tragic events,” said Senator Padilla. “The storms this past month have been devastating. I’m glad I was able to help secure over $29 million in initial recovery funding through this announcement. I look forward to continuing to work with state and federal agencies to secure all of the funding necessary to help us repair our roadways and transportation infrastructure.” 

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“The recent severe storms caused significant damage to the highways and roads throughout the 19th Congressional District from San Luis Obispo County to the Big Sur coastline to the San Lorenzo Valley,” said Representative Panetta. “This emergency federal funding is a critical step in clearing our roads as we continue to remove debris, fix the damage, and ensure the safety of our residents. I appreciate how responsive the Biden Administration has been to our requests for resources and in our commitment to ensure that the federal government plays a significant and sustained role in our recovery efforts.” 

“Climate change is fueling natural disasters – and between the recent earthquakes and disastrous winter storms, my constituents have been put through the wringer,” said Representative Huffman. “My colleagues and I made an urgent request for these funds, and I’m grateful the Biden administration moved swiftly to get this relief to our communities. There is a lot of work ahead to clean up the region and keep residents safe, and I will keep working to ensure the federal government provides the assistance we need for the long haul.”

“Across the Central Coast, damage to our roads and highways have been one of the most dangerous outcomes of these recent storms – cutting off pathways for assistance and first responders, snarling economic activity, and making other repairs more difficult in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties,” said Representative Carbajal. “I am grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration for acting quickly to approve our request for additional emergency transportation funds. I will continue to work with local transit agencies and CalTrans to ensure these funds are used to repair and restore the Central Coast’s roadways which are so critical to all other recovery efforts.” 

On January 15, President Joe Biden granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of California following an effort by the full California delegation urging expedited action in order to secure federal support for counties, communities, and families impacted by the winter storms. Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz have since been designated by the federal government for federal assistance. Lawmakers continue to advocate for additional designations across California to continue the repair and recovery effort.

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  1. So are they going to help creekside RV property, if it was their property it’s already be fixed instead running everybody around and ticketing them for trespassing. Them pushy jerks, who’s giving them tickets

    • That money will be put in a slush fund and spent on their agenda not the roads. California politicians don’t care about the people.

  2. Poor choice for a picture. Not only was that private road but those who are living that nightmare aren’t receiving any of that help

  3. This won’t go towards Creekside. 29 million is for California as a whole, which is not a lot of money for all the roads we have in our state. I can guarantee that the Ghilotti contract for a stretch of highway between Petaluma and Santa Rosa cost more than 29 million just for that section.

  4. Yeah by looking at that picture, that’s not on CalTrans right of way at all. That’s a private road all day long. This lady’s contention that it’s CalTrans property is false. 29801 US 101 Hwy
    Willits, CA 95490 Parcel # 037-130-16-00. This parcel is NOT CalTrans responsibility. Now if part of the highway crumbled and she couldn’t get to her property because of the highway, that’s different but the culvert collapse and sinkhole is definitely part of the infrastructure of her private road of Parcel # 037-130-16-00 and not CalTrans responsibility.

  5. 30mil in California is useless! Might get ya 10 miles of roadwork done & it will take way too long! I see thousands going to waste everyday with workers on the phone, sitting in trucks & leaning on shovels. Other countries would get a lot more done & do it a lot faster!


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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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