WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced the City of New Orleans will receive a $24.6 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build sidewalk ramps that will accommodate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Sen. Landrieu fought for the infrastructure project’s reconsideration after FEMA first determined the replacement of sidewalk corners did not fall under the grant’s criteria. Once Sen. Landrieu set up the process for arbitration, FEMA determined the improvements be required as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and is authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Act. In 2013, Sen. Landrieu first passed reforms to the Robert T. Stafford Act to provide robust funding for communities in the wake of a disaster.
“Today’s funding will provide New Orleans with the necessary resources to improve sidewalk infrastructure around the city that will give disabled residents the ability to access everything New Orleans has to offer and ensure the city’s sidewalks remain safe for all residents,” Sen. Landrieu said. “I am happy to see that FEMA acknowledges these infrastructure improvements are necessary and this funding will have an incredible impact on the city’s ability to modernize its infrastructure.”
“The City of New Orleans is committed to building and maintaining public rights of way that are accessible to all of our citizens,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “These federal recovery funds will ensure construction of ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps essential to building strong neighborhoods and communities. We are making progress every day, and will continue to work with FEMA to identify new eligible funding for storm-damaged infrastructure. FEMA continues to be an important partner in our city’s recovery."
This grant, authorized by Section 406 of Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, provide assistance to state and local entities with response and recovery efforts from natural disasters, like hurricanes. The Public Assistance program issues funding for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent restoration of infrastructure, along with preventative aid to protect critical infrastructure from future damage.