Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed fundamental structures communities need for their basic daily operations. FEMA has provided more than $1.2 billion to restore Louisiana’s roads, transportation systems, sewerage and water facilities and other key community infrastructure, such as parks and recreational facilities. While necessary to sustain communities, many of these assets also improve and return normalcy to residents’ quality of life.
Within the last year in New Orleans, the Regional Transit Authority purchased 91 new buses of various sizes to replace their Katrina-damaged bus fleet. With more than $45 million in FEMA funding, New Orleans’ public transportation system is once again supporting locals’ travel needs.
Similarly, roads in southeastern Louisiana are getting “facelifts.” In St. Bernard Parish, “Roadwork Underway” signs can be found throughout many neighborhoods, with more than $169 million in FEMA funding restoring their storm-damaged streets. Back in New Orleans, residents can also expect smoother travels soon, with more than $88.4 million in FEMA grants already obligated for the city’s roadway restoration project.
Major public parks in both these communities are thriving. New Orleans City Park has benefited from more than $19.9 million in FEMA aid, used to restore the park’s antique car ride, Tad Gormley Stadium, administration building, Great Lawn and Popp’s Fountain Pavilion, among other things. In St. Bernard, construction of the 33-acre Val Riess Park facility is well underway, with Phase I facilities already open and completion anticipated in late 2011. For Val Riess, FEMA approved the consolidation of 31-prestorm facilities and is funding approximately $12 million for its construction.
Katrina and Rita Recovery
$1.2 billion in FEMA grants for key community infrastructure
- $337.6 million to 82 applicants for roadwork projects
- $765.3 million for 649 “utilities” related facilities
- $120.5 million for twelve public transportation facilities
Substantial road repair projects currently underway in St. Bernard and Orleans parishes