Vt. Gets FEMA Boost For Bridge Repair

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(Host) The Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving Vermont a big boost by helping defray the repair costs of a White River Junction railroad bridge nearly destroyed by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.

Governor Peter Shumlin and the Congressional delegation announced today that FEMA will pay $11 million under the Public Assistance program to help repair the structure known as Bridge 501.

The bridge was is imminent danger of collapse following the storm, which could have dammed the river and flooded nearby towns.

The total repair cost was nearly $15 million.

Repairs to the bridge involved the largest crane in New England and underwater welding teams working in the swift currents of the White River.

The bridge was back in operation in early October, although site work continues.

FEMA’s approval of the money puts the state close to the threshold it needs to reach to apply for 90 percent reimbursement from the federal agency for other Irene damage to roads and bridges.

Currently, projects are being reimbursed at the 75 percent level.


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