WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Steve Pearce announced that the Village of Ruidoso is receiving $1,573,571 to replace a bridge severely damaged by flooding from Hurricane Dolly in July and August 2008. The new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding will cover 75 percent of the cost to replace the Close Road bridge, and brings the total amount of federal funding for Hurricane Dolly recovery to $13,533,274. The project replaces a temporary bridge built after the floods with a permanent river crossing that will reduce the threat of future flood damage.
“Ruidoso community leaders have been working hard for over eight years to recover and secure funding to replace the bridge, and I’m glad we’ve finally obtained FEMA assistance,” Udall said. “While I applaud this announcement, we also need to look closely at why this funding was delayed and how we can improve the process so that hard-hit communities receive the assistance they need in a timely manner. FEMA has now awarded New Mexico more than $13.5 million for Hurricane Dolly recovery, which has significantly helped our communities get back on track.”
“The severe flooding caused by Hurricane Dolly was one of the worst natural disasters to hit New Mexico in recent memory,” Heinrich said. “While also recovering from recent wildfires, Ruidoso is still working to repair and replace infrastructure along the Rio Ruidoso. This federal funding will help provide a permanent river crossing on Close Road. I will continue working to secure federal funds to help New Mexico communities build safe roads and fully recover from natural disasters.”
“I am pleased FEMA has finally provided the funding needed to replace the Close Road Bridge, it is a testament to the local communities’ advocacy and support for the bridge,” Pearce said. “FEMA disaster assistance money is a critical component of New Mexicans getting back on their feet after a disaster.”