Winter Storms May Cost California $866 Million In Infrastructure Repairs
Winter has now been officially over for some two weeks, but the record effects of the season are still being felt. As per usual, California's roadways bore the brunt of the damage. According to the Los Angeles Times, the estimated price tag for repairing the state's roads, bridges, and highways from this year's winter is $866 million.
"Our roadways have been pounded this winter by the severe weather conditions," Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty wrote in a February press release. "Crews are mobilized across the state removing debris, repairing road damage, performing traffic control and assessing ongoing risks."
Los Angeles County alone faces $55 million in winter-related repairs to our roads. “I can tell you that it was a momentous series of storms that drenched our region,” Michael Comeaux, spokesman for Caltrans' District 7, which covers Los Angeles, told the Times.
On Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved helping state, local, and tribal governments pay for damages caused by February's storms.
According to the Associated Press, Caltrans has stored away $250 million to maintain roads and bridges, but that amount is hundreds of millions short of what will ultimately be needed.
"$250 million is what Caltrans usually keeps for an average year," Michael Comeaux told LAist. "Whether that covers everything, I'm not sure."
What's more, beyond repairs, Governor Jerry Brown has announced that the state has some $187 billion (yes, with a "b") in unmet water and transportation infrastructure needs that will have to find funding.