Tuesday, February 13, 2024

FHWA 04-24
Contact: FHWA.PressOffice@dot.gov
Tel.: (202) 366-0660

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced today the immediate availability of $1.2 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief (ER) funds for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). The funds will offset costs of emergency repair work to restore Bridge 129 on Vermont Route 14 in Irasburg, which was destroyed by a tanker truck fire in early December.

“We know how important this bridge is to the people of Vermont,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris administration is making these federal emergency funds available to help restore travel on this critical route as quickly and safely as possible.”

“Vermont residents and businesses are experiencing disruptions to their daily lives that often result in additional cost and delay,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “It’s imperative that we get this bridge back up and running again and open Vermont Route 14 as quickly and safely as possible.”

On December 4, 2023, a tanker truck crashed into Bridge 129 on Vermont Route 14 in Irasburg, Vermont. The truck collided with the structure and then caught fire below, resulting in the total destruction of the bridge. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) has evaluated the bridge and determined it has extensive damage and must be replaced. The “quick release” Emergency Relief funding announced today will be used immediately for the construction of a new bridge. VTrans is working to get this work done as quickly as possible to re-open Vermont Route 14 to traffic, as it is an important north-south route to the area. Currently, traffic between Irasburg, VT and Coventry, VT is being detoured using VT 58 and US 5, which adds about four miles to the commute between the towns.

FHWA’s Emergency Relief program provides funding to States, territories, Tribes, and Federal Land Management Agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic external events. These “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial installment of funds to help restore essential transportation. Additional funds needed to repair the damage to bridge in Vermont will continue to be supported by the Emergency Relief program.

More information about FHWA’s Emergency Relief program can be found online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/erelief.cfm

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