WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and U.S. Representatives Rick Crawford (AR-01), French Hill (AR-02), Steve Womack (AR-03) and Bruce Westerman (AR-04) announced more than $48 million in federal funding was approved for Arkansas to rebuild and repair roads and critical infrastructure damaged from heavy rains and floods.
“These funds are critical to assist in the rebuilding and construction of roadways damaged by abnormally high amounts of rainfall and other effects of severe weather. Restoring our transportation infrastructure and other related facilities comes at a tremendous cost to our communities. These grants will assist in decreasing the burden placed on local, county and state governments,” Boozman said.
“Last year's flooding caused millions of dollars in damage to our state's roads and bridges, and nearly a year later much repair work remains to be done. These grants will be vital to the recovery effort, and it's good to see the people of Arkansas get the federal assistance they need,” Cotton said.
“As Arkansans recover from unprecedented flooding, this grant will ensure their communities can be restored. Grants like these not only help communities become functional again but help remove financial stress put on local government,” Crawford said.
“The last few years of abnormally severe weather conditions have had a substantial impact on communities throughout Arkansans. These grants are critical to assisting our local recovery efforts and will help facilitate the repair of our most vital infrastructure,” Hill said.
“In recent years, Arkansas has been hit by a wave of severe weather and flooding events, and the northwest corner of the state I represent in Congress is no exception. These storms caused severe damage to federal-aid highways, roads on Federal lands and Federal Lands Management Agencies transportation facilities that still require repair. The funding from the Department of Transportation will be put to good use in the Natural State,” Womack said.
“The floods of 2017 were devastating to the Fourth Congressional District, leaving millions of dollars in damage and scars that will not easily heal. As the recovery effort continues, these grants will help local governments replace necessary infrastructure,” Westerman said.
The following organizations were awarded Department of Transportation grants to repair, reconstruct and rebuild roads and facilities in Arkansas:
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department: $40 million
National Park Service: $41,490
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: $5 million
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: $715, 226
U.S. Forest Service: $3.165 million
The following counties were approved for disaster assistance last year; Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Cross, Faulkner, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Montgomery, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Poinsett, Prairie, Randolph, Saline, Washington, White and Woodruff Counties.
Over the last several years, Arkansas has experienced several rounds of adverse weather that dramatically affected many communities across the state. Governor Asa Hutchinson issued disaster declarations for 36 counties and two cities in May 2017 after severe weather conditions resulted in widespread damage to many areas. He had previously designated 17 counties as disaster areas in 2015 following severe storms, flooding and tornadoes.