US Gov’t Allocates $830m to Stem Climate Change Impact

The US government has earmarked $830 million to combat the effects of climate change on road and rail systems, with funds allocated for 80 projects aimed at protecting transportation from rising sea levels, storms, and escalating temperatures. These initiatives will encompass enhancements to bridges, highways, ports, and rail lines across 37 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.

Four grant categories will be available: at-risk coastal infrastructure, community resilience and evacuation routes, planning grants, and resilience improvement grants.

The largest recipients of this funding round include the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, slated to receive $60 million for improvements to two sections of BIA Route 33, and the City of Cedar Rapids in Iowa, which will obtain $56 million for the replacement of the 86-year-old Arc of Justice Bridge.

Dubbed the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (Protect) program, the comprehensive $830 million initiative is part of the $50 billion allocated by the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, endorsed in November 2021, along with the Inflation Reduction Act and the National Climate Resilience Framework.

Shailen Bhatt, head of the Federal Highway Administration, underscored the necessity of fortifying infrastructure against climate-related challenges, stating, “This investment from the Biden–Harris administration will ensure our infrastructure is built to withstand more frequent and unpredictable extreme weather, which is vitally important for people and businesses that rely on roads and bridges being open to keep our economy moving.”

In addition to this initiative, in February 2024, the US announced a $729 million fund dedicated to repairing roads damaged by natural disasters, further emphasising the government’s commitment to addressing climate-induced infrastructure challenges.

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