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The funds from the Federal Highway Administration will repair damage from flooding, winter storms to Oregon highways

FILE PHOTO - Lauren Huffman works hard to dig out her car parked along Highway 43 in 2013.A smoother ride is coming for Oregon highway motorists, according to the feds.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will reimburse the state for $36.3 million worth of highway repairs caused by heavy rain, snowfall and other inclement weather.

"This Administration is providing federal funding to help repair roads and bridges damaged during natural disasters including hurricanes, wildfires, floods and earthquakes," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, in an announcement of the funding on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Specifically, Oregon is being repaid for repairs made after floods in December, 2015, as well as after severe winter storms in December, 2015 — January, 2017 — and Febrary and April of this year.

The Federal Highway Administration said the emergency relief money was part of a $871.2 million package distributed to 39 states, overseas territories and islands. The money can be used to replace guardrails, highways and bridges, other safety devices or to implement detours.

"These storms caused a lot of damage to Oregon roads and other parts of the transportation infrastructure," noted Paul Mather, the deputy director of the Oregon Department of Transportation. "We certainly welcome this reimbursement from the federal government and appreciate the recognition of what Oregon has been through."

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