FEMA Awards Vermont Nearly $1.1 Million For Irene Railroad Bridge Repairs

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Release Date:
November 21, 2022

BOSTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be sending almost $1.1 million to the State of Vermont to reimburse the costs of repairing a railroad bridge after it was damaged by flooding during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.

The $1,072,923 Public Assistance grant will go to the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VAOT) for the costs of repairing and relocating the Green Mountain Railroad Rail Bridge No. 114 over the Williams River in Chester.

Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene almost knocked the steel lattice truss bridge – built in 1899 – into the river and left it tilted 25 degrees, requiring emergency and temporary repairs immediately after the storm in August and September 2011 to return it to service.

As its contractors began permanent repairs in October and November 2011, VAOT decided to relocate this bridge 19 feet to the east following the existing rail alignment, and subsequently demolished the temporarily repaired abutments and constructed two replacement abutments using the latest applicable standards and prevailing construction practices in the railroad industry.

“Recovery from a catastrophic event like Tropical Storm Irene is a long and complex process,” said FEMA Region I Regional Administrator Lori Ehrlich. “FEMA is pleased to assist Vermont as it wraps up the few remaining projects and prepares to close the books on Irene.”

FEMA’s Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. Vermont has received nearly $209 million from the program for Tropical Storm Irene.

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