Last week, Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) announced $1.5 millions in funding for the repair or reconstruction of Federal-aid highways and roads that suffered serious damage as a result of wildfires in Riverside County. This Federal grant comes after Dr. Ruiz and other federal lawmakers sought a formal disaster declaration making the State eligible for the funds.

“This grant will go a long way to restore infrastructure in parts of my district that have been damaged as a result of one of the most devastating wildfire seasons in history,” said Dr. Ruiz. “As I have done in the past, I will work to ensure our communities who are affected by wildfires receive assistance in rebuilding and our firefighters have the means necessary to reduce these disasters to save lives, property, and resources.”

This grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration provides funds to the California Department of Transportation to restore federal roads and highways to pre-disaster condition.

Caltrans said the following portions of Highways 74 and 243 will be repaired with these grant funds:

Mountain Fire Repairs (SR-243-postmile 0/2.14) - $300,000

Silver Fire Repairs (SR-243-postmile 18/28.3) - $1.2 million

“As of right now the scope of work is simply listed as ‘repair fire damage;’ it is unclear at this time the exact items of work that will be included in each project,” wrote Joy M. Sepulveda, Public Information Officer for Caltran’s District 8.

“Caltrans is committed to keeping highways open and safe for motorists,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty in a press release. “This restoration allows for the continued use of an important and scenic corridor by Riverside County residents and tourists.”