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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release June 20, 1997

To help California in its flood-recovery efforts, Vice President Al Gore today (6/20) announced that the Department of Transportation, under the leadership of Secretary Rodney E. Slater, will provide an additional $50 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) emergency relief funds to continue repairs on federal-aid roads and bridges damaged during storms and flooding in late December and early January.

When Americans in distress need a helping hand, government can't turn its back -- especially when the cause of pain is the force of nature,8 said Vice President Gore. I hope this money will help get the families and businesses of California that have suffered back on their feet.8

The $50 million was provided in response to the state's request for additional federal assistance. The funding will supplement two earlier allocations of $20 million and $30 million, bringing California's total emergency relief package to $100 million.

President Clinton and Vice President Gore recognize the damage that that California has suffered as a result of the flooding,8 Secretary Slater said. We are particularly concerned about the damage caused to the transportation systems because transportation is vital to the daily lives of the people affected and also the state's economy.8

The money will help to reimburse the state for emergency repairs already completed in Humboldt, Shasta, Marin, San Luis Obispo and Mono counties and for restoration work commencing along the Route 101 Salinas River bridge near Soledad in Monterey County.

FHWA emergency relief money is awarded after a formal emergency proclamation has been issued and the state has filed a preliminary damage assessment for its highways and bridges on the federal-aid system. The funds reimburse the state for emergency work that is already completed and provides funding for other necessary repairs to correct major or unusual damage to federal-aid highways. Eligible repair work includes reconstructing damaged bridges and pavement surfaces, establishing detours, removing slides and debris, and replacing signs, lighting and guardrails.