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Emergencies and seeking Federal Emergency Relief Funds

When an emergency occurs and the estimated repairs will exceed $700,000 such as in the collapse of the I-5 Skagit River Bridge, a “Declaration of Emergency” proclamation is issued by the Governor’s Office. The proclamation and a “Letter of Intent” are forwarded by WSDOT to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requesting federal emergency relief funds to assist in financing the emergency work and repair.

FHWA formally acknowledges the Governor’s proclamation of the existence of a State of Emergency and WSDOT’s letter of intent which assures WSDOT that temporary operation, emergency repairs, and the initiation of design work for temporary and permanent repairs may proceed without prior authorization by FHWA. While emergency repairs and traffic operations such as temporary detours are under way to restore traffic and maintain public safety, WSDOT develops the scope of work and the cost estimate for temporary and permanent restoration work.

WSDOT submits the scope of work and cost estimate to FHWA in a Detailed Damage Inspection Report (DDIR) for an initial determination that the scope and estimated costs are eligible for federal reimbursement. Once the DDIR is signed by FHWA, WSDOT is able to move forward to secure and access federal funding for the temporary and permanent repairs. To assist WSDOT in quickly replacing the collapsed bridge and restoring normal traffic operations, FHWA authorized the quick release of $1,000,000 of federal emergency relief funding on May 24, 2013.

Skagit Bridge FHWA Estimate (pdf, 525KB)