Feds commit $5M to quake-damaged Alaska roads
As drivers navigate widespread damage to southcentral Alaska’s road system from Friday’s earthquake, repair crews are receiving some immediate support from the U.S. government.
The Federal Highway Administration authorized $5 million in emergency relief funds for the state Saturday, following a request by Gov. Bill Walker and state Transportation Commissioner Marc Luiken. Walker declared a state disaster Saturday morning, after speaking on several occasions Friday with President Trump about the need for immediate federal aid.
“The earthquake devastated roads and bridges across south-central Alaska, and these emergency funds will help reopen important sections of road more quickly to speed the overall recovery,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.
According to Saturday’s statement, the funds “will be used to pay for the repairs made to restore essential traffic and prevent additional damage at emergency repair locations in Anchorage and surrounding areas.” They are immediately available for use.
Much of Vine Road in Wasilla suffered extensive damage during the quake, although no drivers on the road were injured at the time.
Ongoing repair work is in progress along the Glenn Highway, as well as Minnesota Drive’s northbound offramp at International Airport Road which collapsed Friday when the earth beneath it sank.
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