“Quick release” of FHWA emergency funds will assist with estimated $10 million in damages to state and federal roadways
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation received notice today that $2.5 million in emergency federal funding is being released to assist in the repair of roadways damaged during heavy rains and flooding last week in Northern Wisconsin.
Emergency assessments, operations and repairs have been ongoing since the storms that brought 11+ inches of rain to some areas overnight between July 11 and 12. Multiple roadways were overtaken by water and damaged. Some even collapsed as the supportive soils washed away in floodwaters.
“After a week of working around the clock to help restore Northern Wisconsin’s vital transportation links, this funding will enable us to accelerate efforts to make emergency repairs and reopen roadways as soon as possible,” said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “We recognize the important role these highways play in tourism, freight movement and daily life for thousands of people, and we are doing everything we can to help restore normalcy.”
Announcement of the emergency funding came upon receipt of a letter from Secretary Gottlieb to the Federal Highway Administration explaining the scope of the damages and the need for urgency. The funding is identified as “quick release” funding, which enables the state to expand recovery work immediately while continuing to identify repair and recovery needs. WisDOT so far has identified nearly $10 million in repair needs for state and federal highways directly related to last week’s storms.
Although a number of roadways remain closed, many more have been repaired and reopened since the heavy rain and flooding. Re-opened roads include:
- WIS 137 at Wipperfurth Road in Ashland between Sanborn Avenue and US 2 (Bayfield County)
- WIS 122 between US 2 and WIS 77 (Iron County)
- WIS 27 north of Hayward, off of WIS 77 near Smith Lake (Sawyer County)
- WIS 77 at Old Bass Lake Road southwest of Minong (Washburn County)
For up-to-date information on closures and detours, visit 511wi.gov, download the free mobile app or follow @511WI on Twitter. Motorists are advised to drive with caution on all area roads in the affected area and are reminded not to drive through standing water.