Abandoned cars on I- 696 on Aug. 12. MDOT said the initial costs to clear the water from roads and clean up debris were $500,000. (David Coates / The Detroit News)
The U.S. Department of Transportation gave $750,000 in emergency relief money to Michigan on Wednesday to help pay for repairing Metro Detroit roads and bridges damaged Aug. 11 by rain and flooding.
The funds given to the Michigan Department of Transportation are the first in what may be further installments depending on the amount of damage, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. More money for permanent repairs can’t be released until the fixes are figured out and cost estimates are finished.
MDOT said initial costs to clear the water from roads and clean up mud and debris left behind cost $500,000.
“These funds represent the first installment of our commitment to the people of Michigan while the state continues to assess the damage,” Foxx said in a statement.
The money from the department’s Emergency Relief Program will reimburse the state for emergency work done immediately after the rain that totaled as much as 6 inches or more in a four-hour period.
Gov. Rick Snyder declared a disaster because tens of thousands of homes were flooded and there was damage on Interstates 75 and 94 as well as the I-696/75 interchange that included bridge slopes, pavement, ramps and guardrails washed out.
“We will provide the federal resources needed to restore these highways,” acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau said.
U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, running for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat against Republican Terri Lynn Land, welcomed the money.
“This emergency funding will give the Michigan Department of Transportation some of the resources it needs to repair the severe damage to our roads and freeways in the wake of this storm,” he said in a statement.