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Florida to get $70 million in transportation resilience money this year

Cars ride in the shoulder to pass other cars in evacuation traffic on I-75 N, near Brooksville, Fla., in advance of Hurricane Irma, Saturday, Sept, 9, 2017. With the window closing fast for anyone wanting to escape, Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a projected track that could take it away from Miami and instead give the Tampa area its first direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century.
Gerald Herbert
/
AP
Cars ride in the shoulder to pass other cars in evacuation traffic on I-75 N, near Brooksville, Fla., in advance of Hurricane Irma, Saturday, Sept, 9, 2017. With the window closing fast for anyone wanting to escape, Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a projected track that could take it away from Miami and instead give the Tampa area its first direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century.

Florida will get $70 million this fiscal year to address the effects of climate change on transportation infrastructure and evacuation routes as part of a new federal program.

In all, the program could send $364 million to the state for such projects over five years.

The Federal Highway Administration on Friday announced the funding, as it outlined the $7.3 billion Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation, or PROTECT, program.

Money for the program is coming from a federal infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden in November.

In a news release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the program is designed to “help communities protect their transportation infrastructure from extreme weather and improve routes that first responders and firefighters need during disasters.”

The money can be used for highway and transit projects, bicycle and pedestrian projects and port facilities that help improve evacuations or disaster relief.

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