The Biden-Harris Administration has announced nearly 830 million USD in grants to help make the nation’s transportation infrastructure more resilient to climate change.

This funding aims to strengthen surface transportation systems and make them more resilient to extreme weather events worsened by the climate crisis, flooding, sea-level rise, heat waves, and other disasters.

These challenges are currently faced by operators and infrastructure managers globally. For example, in the UK, Network Rail recently announced plans to invest around 2.8 billion GBP in activities and technology to help cope with extreme weather and climate change.

In 2021, wildfire in California shut down rail freight lines
In 2021, wildfire in California shut down rail freight lines

In the US, this funding is made possible through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Discretionary Grant Program.

FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt said:

Every community in America knows the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, including increasingly frequent heavy rain and flooding events across the country and sea-level rise that is inundating infrastructure in coastal states. This investment from the Biden-Harris Administration will ensure our infrastructure is built to withstand more frequent and unpredictable extreme weather, which is vitally important for people and businesses that rely on roads and bridges being open to keep our economy moving.

Under President Biden’s Investing in America initiative, the PROTECT Grant Program is allocating funds to improve the resilience of transport networks to extreme weather events.

This includes strengthening roads, bridges, highways, public transportation, pedestrian pathways, ports, and intercity passenger rail systems. In doing so, these investments aim to lower immediate and long-term expenses by decreasing the need for future maintenance and reconstruction.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said:

From wildfires shutting down freight rail lines in California to mudslides closing down a highway in Colorado, from a drought causing the halt of barge traffic on the Mississippi River to subways being flooded in New York, extreme weather, made worse by climate change, is damaging America’s transportation infrastructure, cutting people off from getting to where they need to go, and threatening to raise the cost of goods by disrupting supply chains. Today, through a first-of-its-kind program created by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are awarding nearly $830 million to make transportation infrastructure in 39 states and territories more resilient against climate change, so people and supply chains can continue to move safely.

The list of grant recipients can be found here.


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