Biden Administration Announces New PROTECT Formula Program, $7.3 Billion from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Help Communities Build Resilient Infrastructure
In an ongoing effort to combat the effects of climate change and address the growing costs of extreme weather events negatively impacting communities, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced new guidance and $7.3 billion in formula funding to help states and communities better prepare for and respond to extreme weather events like wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat. It is a first-of-its-kind program made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The new Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Formula Program funding is available to states over five years to make transportation infrastructure more resilient to future weather events and other natural disasters by focusing on resilience planning, making resilience improvements to existing transportation assets and evacuation routes, and addressing at-risk highway infrastructure. In general, eligible projects include:
- highway and transit project,
- bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and
- port facilities including those that help improve evacuations or disaster relief.
States are encouraged to work with regional and local partner organizations to prioritize transportation and emergency response improvements and address vulnerabilities. Eligible resilience improvements can involve adapting existing transportation infrastructure or new construction to keep communities safe by bolstering the infrastructure’s ability to withstand extreme weather events and other physical hazards that are becoming more common and intense. Eligible project choices may include using natural or green infrastructure to buffer future storm surges and provide flood protection and aquatic ecosystem restoration. PROTECT projects can also help improve the resilience of transportation networks that serve traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities, particularly during natural disasters and evacuations.
The complete statement can be read here.