WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senators John Boozman and Mark Pryor today joined Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Mike Ross (AR-4) to announce that the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department will receive a $9 million grant to repair and reconstruct federal highways and roads that were damaged by severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes in the spring of 2011.
“Our highways are vital components to the economic success of our state and these funds are important to restoring our transportation infrastructure. This grant will help decrease the costs paid by the state and local governments to make the necessary repairs to damaged roads and bridges,” Boozman said.
“Repairing and reconstructing our storm-damaged roads has required considerable time, manpower, and funds,” Pryor said. “In conjunction with the $1 million in federal assistance already provided by the Department of Transportation, these funds will help speed up recovery efforts and help our communities get back on their feet. This grant is a perfect example of how federal dollars can be reinvested to support local needs.”
“This spring Arkansans were reminded of Mother Nature’s awesome power. Many families and small businesses are still picking up the pieces,” said Crawford. “These funds will be used to get Arkansans back on their feet, small business back to work and our local economies humming again.”
“Our highways play a critical part in our state’s economy and are a key component to encouraging private sector job creation,” Griffin said. “These much needed funds will help restore some of the roads that were damaged by last year’s storms.”
“This financial assistance comes at a crucial time for Arkansans as we continue to rebound from 2011’s severe weather, which caused extensive damage to highways across the state,” said Womack. “This grant, coupled with the previously provided $1 million in federal assistance, will help to further alleviate the extraordinary expense in repairing our state’s infrastructure which is so critical to our economic well-being.”
"The flooding and storms we've faced over the past year have taken a toll on our roads and bridges," said Ross. "We must have a top-notch infrastructure system in place to attract new businesses and bring more commerce to our great state. These federal investments will be instrumental in helping Arkansas repair and rebuild our roads and bridges to create jobs in the short term and grow our economy in the long term."
The Department of Transportation, which issued the grant, said the funds will be used to complete emergency repair work. Eligible work includes repairs to restore traffic, minimize the extent of storm damage, protect remaining facilities, and restore highways to their pre-disaster condition.