U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that Oregon is receiving an emergency $5 million federal grant to help with the repair and reconstruction of highways and roads on federal lands affected by the wildfires.

“The wildfires devastating our state have left a wide trail of destruction that demands federal assistance to help Oregonians recover and rebound from this disaster,“ Wyden said. “Much more federal aid is needed to provide a comprehensive response to these wildfires, but I’m glad these transportation resources are heading to Oregon and will keep battling for every available dollar to help on all fronts.”

“Last weekend, I drove from Portland to Medford and back to visit evacuation sites and burn areas to see up close the destruction caused by this unprecedented wildfire event. What I saw was an unimaginable amount of damage and heartbreak,” said Merkley. “We have a long road ahead of us to not only contain these catastrophic wildfires, but to rebuild the communities and infrastructure that they destroyed. These grants will help begin those reconstruction efforts, and I will keep doing everything I can to bring home the resources we need to get our communities back up and running.”

The $5 million in emergency relief from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration is for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid highways and roads on federal lands that have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disasters or catastrophic failures from an external cause.

Eligible repair work includes emergency repairs needed to restore essential traffic, minimize the extent of damage, or protect the remaining facilities as well as permanent repairs necessary to restore the highway to its pre-disaster condition.

More than 200 miles of Federal-aid highways remains closed across the Cascades, limiting transportation between the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. The following counties have been affected: Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Tillamook, and Washington.

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