Florida Construction News staff writer
The federal government has promised $50 million to Miami to protect low-lying communities from sea level rise and storm surge, part of a $70 million announcement for Florida to address the effects of climate change on transportation infrastructure and evacuation routes as part of a new federal program.
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Florida International University (FIU) in Miami on Monday to announce over $1 billion to help several states address extreme heat and flooding.
“The takeaway is clear. As the climate crisis gets worse, extreme weather will pose a rapidly growing danger to a rapidly growing number of communities,” Harris said. “The president and I also have a duty to act not only after a disaster strikes but also before a disaster strikes, and that is why we’re here today.”
The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program has funded several projects across Florida in recent years, including $23 million for Jacksonville announced last week.
In a news release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the program is designed to “help communities protect their transportation infrastructure from extreme weather and improve routes that first responders and firefighters need during disasters.”
Funds can be used for highway and transit projects, bicycle and pedestrian projects and port facilities that help improve evacuations or disaster relief.
“Funds will help adapt bridges, add protective features around roads to prevent landslides, build evacuation routes that help residents and first responders, and fund tidal wetlands that protect infrastructure from floods and can reduce carbon emissions in the first place,” Buttigieg said on Twitter following the announcement.