Florida senators demand fixes for Puerto Rico’s roads, bridges

Florida senators demand fixes for Puerto Rico’s roads, bridges
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Florida’s senators are demanding that the administration come up with short-term fixes for Puerto Rico’s broken roads and bridges, which could take months to rebuild following the devastation from Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico’s infrastructure problems have prevented critical aid and other supplies from getting distributed around the island, especially in remote and rural areas.

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For this reason, Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE (R) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonOvernight Health Care: Ryan's office warns he wasn't part of ObamaCare deal | House conservatives push for mandate repeal in final tax bill | Dem wants probe into CVS-Aetna merger Ryan's office warning he wasn't part of deal on ObamaCare: source Overnight Health Care: Funding bill could provide help for children's health program | Questions for CVS-Aetna deal | Collins doubles funding ask for ObamaCare bill MORE (D) are urging the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to “promptly assist and identify interim solutions for Puerto Rico in repairing its damaged roads and bridges.”

Rubio and Nelson raised concern that in some areas where bridges have been completely wiped out, residents are using makeshift pulley systems to get supplies across the river.

“During our recent visits to Puerto Rico, we witnessed the devastation this storm caused to the island’s infrastructure, including numerous bridges that were damaged or completely destroyed,” the senators wrote in a letter to the DOT and FEMA on Tuesday.

“The hurricane hit rural communities in Puerto Rico’s mountainous interior especially hard, effectively cutting them off from the rest of the island.”

The two senators have asked the DOT and FEMA to identify their plans to ensure aid is getting delivered; whether there are any interim solutions that can be enacted to quickly restore transportation to remote communities; and how the agencies plan to help rebuild and repair the island’s roads and bridges. 

“Recovery efforts in rural areas, and in communities throughout Puerto Rico, will continue to be slow if these infrastructure needs are not addressed,” they wrote.

“It is critical that FEMA and DOT work together to quickly reconnect isolated communities to the rest of the island, and begin the larger task of helping Puerto Rico rebuild its transportation infrastructure.”