U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced 40 projects have been competitively selected to receive a share of $3.59 billion in federal disaster relief funds to help public transportation systems in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy to become more resilient, to withstand the impact of future natural disasters.
Approximately 90% of the funds will be invested in resilience projects primarily in New York and New Jersey, where transit systems sustained the worst of the storm damage, with the remainder going towards projects in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
In general, the projects selected for resilience funding were required to demonstrate they would reduce the risk of damage to public transportation assets inflicted by future natural disasters. Emphasis was placed on a project's ability to protect the most essential and vulnerable infrastructure, as well as effective collaboration and coordination among local and regional governments.
The project evaluation process was rigorous, involving specialists from the FTA, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FTA received 61 proposals seeking a total of $6.6 billion.
The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 provided $10.9 billion for FTA's Emergency Relief Program for recovery, relief, and resiliency efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. That total was subsequently cut by almost $545 million due to sequestration. FTA is allocating the remaining $10.4 billion in multiple tiers for response, recovery and rebuilding; for locally prioritized resiliency projects; and for competitively selected resiliency work.
To date, FTA has allocated nearly $9.3 billion of the total funds appropriated — roughly $5.7 billion for initial and ongoing recovery work and $3.6 billion for the larger resilience projects announced.
To view a list of projects, click here.