Peters Announces $50 Million in Immediate Emergency Relief

During her third trip to the bridge collapse on Aug. 10, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced she is making $50 million available immediately to help Minnesota move forward quickly with recovery efforts and plans for a new bridge over the Mississippi River.

Peters said the quick release of emergency money will ensure there is no delay in the recovery effort. On Aug. 6, President Bush signed legislation authorizing an additional $250 million in relief for Minneapolis; however, those funds will have to be appropriated by Congress before it is made available.

"While we're waiting for these additional funds to be appropriated, we want to make sure the state has the resources it needs to move forward," Peters said.

The state can use the $50 million, Peters says, to pay for clean-up and recovery work, including clearing debris and re-routing traffic, as well as for design work on a new bridge. These funds are in addition to the $5 million in emergency aid she released the morning after the bridge collapse.

In addition, Peters announced she is making an additional $5 million available to reimburse Minneapolis' Metro Transit bus facility for its increased transit operations to serve commuters in the wake of last week's bridge collapse. These funds, which will not require a local match and may be used to reimburse for transit costs going back to Aug. 1 to help pay for ramped up services like the extra buses the city has put on the ground and the free express bus service from Park and Ride lots to downtown. The funds are available through the Bus Discretionary Program funds already appropriated in the current federal fiscal year.

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