FHWA Issues Funds for National Park Storm Repairs

The Federal Highway Administration recently issued $4.575 million in “quick release” Emergency Relief funds to the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to offset costs of repair work for roads, trails, parking areas, and other infrastructure damaged by floods caused by Tropical Storm Hilary in Death Valley National Park and other western federal lands in August.

[Above photo by the National Park Service]

FHWA noted in a statement that its Emergency Relief program provides funding to states, territories, tribes, and federal land management agencies for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.

Such “quick release” Emergency Relief funds are an initial resource installment to help restore essential transportation.

Additional funds needed to repair damages on the federal lands affected by Tropical Storm Hilary will be supported by the Emergency Relief program through further nationwide funding allocations, the agency said.

Tropical Storm Hilary’s record rainfall in late August resulted in flash flooding and debris flow across several states, including California and Nevada, for several days. Within Death Valley National Park, the flash flooding damaged numerous transportation facilities including roads, trails and parking areas, and resulted in roads being buckled or completely destroyed, bridges impacted, road surfacing lost, and damage caused by significant debris and erosion.

This tranche of FHWA emergency funding will also be used for repair work at the Manzanar Historic Site, San Bernardino National Forest, Inyo National Forest, and Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge in California.

That emergency fiscal relief will also support flood damage projects in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada to repair transportation facilities, road segments, and collapsed culverts.

Podcast: Colorado DOT & Environmental Product Declarations

The latest episode of the AASHTO re:source podcast sits down with the Colorado Department of Transportation to gain insights into how the implements Environmental Product Declaration or EPD  requirements for materials used in infrastructure projects statewide.

[Above image by Colorado DOT]

AASHTO re:source – a division of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials – provides services and tools through three major programs: the Laboratory Assessment Program or LAP, the Proficiency Sampling Program or PSP, and the AASHTO Accreditation Program. It launched this podcast series in September 2020.

Craig Wieden, state materials engineer with the Colorado DOT, noted that an EPD is a “transparent and verified report” that presents the environmental impacts of a product. In the case of state DOTs, “the ones that we’re interested in are [for] the construction products we use in our infrastructure projects,” he said.

According to a measure passed by the state legislature, the Colorado DOT must collect EPDs on five construction product categories: cement, concrete, asphalt, asphalt mixtures, and steel, Wieden pointed out.

“There are numerous aspects of the environmental impacts presented in the EPDs that we look at,” he explained. “The one that we’re [most] interested in is global warming potential. Other environmental factors include ozone depletion, acidification, smog, etc. What we’re trying to do with our benchmarking effort is to collect EPDs for the products that are produced specifically in Colorado or provided to our Colorado projects that meet our specifications.”

To hear more from this podcast episode, click here.

Environmental News Highlights – September 20, 2023


Top 12 Finalists Compete for Coveted America’s Transportation Awards -AASHTO Journal

EPW Hearing: Impact of Heat on Transportation Infrastructure -AASHTO Journal

Biden’s Rules on Clean Transportation Face a Crucial Test -Transport Topics

White House Releases New Technical Assistance Resources to Help Communities Unlock Opportunities from President Biden’s Investing in America AgendaWhite House (Fact Sheet)


Rush hour-and-a-half: Traffic is spreading out post-lockdownPLOS One


A Summer of Reform for the National Environmental Policy Act -National Law Review (analysis)

Using NEPA Review To Define And Shape Better Projects -Volpe Center (Webinar)



FHWA Makes $100M Available for EV Charger Repairs -AASHTO Journal

Environmental Product Declarations Help Create Sustainable Highways -FHWA Innovator

Washington State needs 3 million more EV charging ports to meet state goal -The Center Square

New Interactive Dashboard Shows Cities Are Rebuilding America Using Federal Infrastructure Funds -National League of Cities

ATA Leader Chris Spear Presses Congress for AV Framework -Transport Topics

When Mobility Needs Are Like Snowflakes: TTI’s outposts focus on singular urban challenges -Thinking Transportation (podcast)


Port of Long Beach meets clean air goals, study finds -City News Service

Front Range makes progress in air quality -Longmont Leader

The Trucking Industry Tackles Carbon Tracking -Transport Topics

USDA to Invest $400,000 to Adjust GHG Emissions Model for Corn-Based Ethanol Aviation Fuel Subsidies –Reuters


Sacramento is installing bike lanes to help meet California climate goals. Here’s how it works -Sacramento Bee



ETAP Podcast Delves into ReConnect Rondo -AASHTO Journal

Infrastructure Funding May Yield More Than Just EV Charging -Government Technology

Cruise unveils first wheelchair accessible robotaxi at SF HQ -San Francisco Examiner


New York State report finds road salt creates damage to water systems in Adirondacks -Daily Gazette



Maryland governor announces $25.5 million for bicycle, pedestrian projects across state -Maryland DOT (press release)

Motorized Scooters Are Taking Over New York City’s Bike Lanes –Outside

Seattle testing electric sweeper for bike lanes as part of city’s move toward zero-emission fleet –GeekWire

The infrastructure of community -Public Square


Resilience Research Becoming a Bigger Part of Transportation Planning –TRB

Airport Programs That Reduce Landside Vehicle Carbon Emissions –ACRP

E-Scooter Safety Toolbox –BTSCRP

Enhancing Wheelchair Accessibility on Commercial Service Aircraft -TRB (webinar)

Creating Infrastructure for Efficient Multi-Modal Transportation Networks -Association for Commuter Transportation (webinar)

Ridesharing Institute Conversation Sept 2023: the CTC and the FHWA/USDOT -Ridesharing Institute (link to webinar registration)



Airport Terminal Program; FY 2024 Funding Opportunity -FAA (Notice)

Notice of Withdrawal of the Record of Decision for the LaGuardia Airport Access Improvement Project –FAA (Notice)

Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; Alaska Department of Transportation Fourth Audit Report -FHWA (Notice)

Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; Arizona Department of Transportation FHWA Audit ReportFHWA (Notice)

Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; Utah Department of Transportation Audit ReportFHWA (Notice)

Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity (ACTE); Notice of Public Meeting -Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation (Notice of public meeting)

National Bridge Inspection Program Compliance Review Manual -FHWA (Notice; request for comments)

National Towing Safety Advisory Committee; September 2023 Meetings -U.S. Coast Guard (Committee meeting)

Notice of Realty Action: Classification for Lease and/or Conveyance for Recreation and Public Purposes of Public Lands in Teton County, Wyoming -Bureau of Land Management (Notice of realty action)

National Wildlife Refuge System Planning Policies (602 FW 1–4) for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service –U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Proposed policy updates; request for comment)