Q & A Private Roads and Bridges

Release Date:
September 7, 2022

Why did I receive less than $200 to fix my private bridge?

If you report damage to FEMA and receive a dollar amount between $179 - $195, you may have received this money to pay a contractor to inspect and provide an estimate of the cost to repair damage to your HVAC, septic system, well, retaining wall or single-family road or bridge. After you receive the contractor’s estimate, file an appeal.

The appeal can be mailed or faxed using the information below:

  • Survivors can bring their appeal to their local Disaster Recovery Center which can be found at fema.gov/drc
  • Mailing Address: Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center; P.O. Box 10055; Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  • Fax Number: 800-827-8112
  • If a Disaster Assistance Center account has been created, applicants can also upload documents through the Upload Center in their online account at disasterassistance.gov.

What if multiple families live off a private road, who applies?

If multiple households use a privately-owned access route, FEMA encourage all homeowners to apply for assistance to help all affected households. In instances where multiple homes share a privately-owned access route, assistance is shared between applicants, requiring additional coordination and documentation between FEMA and the applicants. In some cases, more than one owner may receive funds for a contractor’s estimate. Please be sure to use these funds as intended.

FEMA also requires:

  • Written consent from all applicants as pertains to the shared privately-owned access route.
  • A declarative statement affirming any assistance FEMA provides will be used to make repairs to the access route and the applicant understands they are responsible for getting permits and complying with local codes and ordinances.
  • The households are not part of a homeowner’s association or covenant responsible for repair of the access route, or the established homeowner’s association or covenant is unable to receive assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration or private insurance to repair the access route.

What are the requirements?

To receive Home Repair Assistance for privately-owned access routes the following conditions must be met:

  • A FEMA inspection determines repairs are necessary to provide drivable access to the primary residence.
  • The applicant is responsible (or shares responsibility with other homeowners) for maintaining the privately-owned access route to their primary residence.
  • The privately-owned access route is the only way to reach the applicant's primary residence; repair (or replacement) of a secondary route is necessary for practical use (for example, it is impossible to access the residence without a bridge or road); or the safety of the occupants or the residence would be adversely affected because commonwealth or local government emergency equipment (ambulances, firetrucks) cannot reach the residence.

How do I get assistance?

Homeowners and renters in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties who were affected by the flooding that started on July 26 in Eastern Kentucky have until Sept. 28, 2022, to apply for assistance.

Survivors can apply by the following ways,

  • by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.
  • visiting disasterassistance.gov; or
  • by using the FEMA mobile app. The FEMA App is available for both Android and iOS. You can download the app on Google Play and on the Apple App Store. 

Survivors who applied for assistance from FEMA need to stay in touch with the agency to update their application with any new information. The easiest way to provide new or missing information is by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. It is important that FEMA can contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an out of state area code or unidentified number.

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Last updated September 7, 2022