Federal grants awarded to two flood-prone locations

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

A pair of flood-prone areas in North Carolina will receive federal grants for road projects, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced.

More than $1.8 million will be used to reinforce the shoulder and embankments where U.S. 74 crosses the Lumber River near the Columbus County town of Boardman. Improvements are needed to reduce the potential for roadway deterioration and bridge approach damage from flooding from heavy storms.

U.S. 74 is also a major east-west evacuation route connecting Wilmington and Charlotte, making it essential to communities in need of emergency and community services during extreme weather events.

NCDOT will also receive a $1.8 million grant to study the 11-mile stretch of N.C. 12 between Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe on Pea Island.

The project will identify future construction projects, streamline environmental reviews, include public engagement and establish detailed, long-term plans for keeping the roadway passable during and following major storm events.

These projects are among 80 nationwide that will share about $830 million in discretionary grants through the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program.

“From wildfires shutting down freight rail lines in California to mudslides closing down a highway in Colorado, from a drought causing the halt of barge traffic on the Mississippi River to subways being flooded in New York, increasingly extreme weather is damaging America’s transportation infrastructure, cutting people off from getting to where they need to go, and threatening to raise the cost of goods by disrupting supply chains,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Funding is allocated to projects focused on surface transportation resilience to natural hazards and disasters, supporting planning activities, resilience improvements and evacuation routes, and at-risk coastal infrastructure.

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