LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i and Maui will benefit from a $17 million disaster relief package administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday.
The grant will help repair roads and highways damaged by heavy rains in late February and early March in 2012. The rains caused floods, landslides and road closures, and prompted disaster declarations from local, state and federal governments
Repair work will include emergency repairs to restore traffic flow, minimize existing damage, protect remaining facilities and restore highways to pre-disaster conditions, according to a news release.
“Last year, Hawai‘i experienced highly unusual and severe weather, including hail, a tornado, flooding, and landslides,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono, who joined Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to make the announcement. “Critical roads and infrastructure across the state sustained major damage, and this $17 million in federal assistance will go a long way to fund repairs and help get Hawai‘i moving again.”
Schatz, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said the money is needed assistance for the state.
“This demonstrates the value of teamwork,” Schatz said. “From President Obama to Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood to the Congressional delegation to the State administration, everyone came through and the result is receiving $17 million for critical transportation needs.”
Gabbard noted that Kaua‘i and Maui experienced a “significant hardship” due to the heavy rains, which destroyed roads, contaminated drinking water and damaged homes.
“This $17 million federal grant will be a strong first step toward fixing our highways and getting people back to their normal routines,” Gabbard said.
Officials also noted that money will help repair roads damaged on O‘ahu and Moloka‘i.